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Local Legislators Toolkit

Local Legislators Toolkit

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Language can be used to discriminate against women, particularly if used in laws and
ordinances and parliamentary discussion and debate. The use of gender-fair language is an
important tool for promoting gender equality. The following rules in gender-fair writing as
contained in Gender Fair Language, A Primer 17

are reprinted below.

Generic “man”

The term man is often associated with the adult male and it is difficult to distinguish its
generic use. It reflects gender inequality in that women are never seen in terms of
general or representative humanity but always in terms of their gender. Man represents
the universe and the human to which women is the “other.”

1. Replace man with specific pronouns or verbs that say explicitly what you mean.
Instead of



labor, human resources, personnel

2. Use nouns that encompass both man and women.
Instead of




3. In making general statements that apply to both sexes, specify that women are also
being referred to.
Instead of


Man is vulnerable

Women and men are vulnerable.


Thelma Kintanar, Gender-Fair Language, A Primer. UP Center for Women’s Studies., 1988.


The pronouns “he”, “his”


The pronouns he and his are used to replace generic man and pose the same


• Choose from the most common alternatives – he or she, he/she, she or he and
lately, s/he
• Use the plural form.
Instead of


The student must submit his
paper on time.

Students must submit their papers
on time.

• Use the first or second person, when appropriate.
Instead of


As a government employee,
he faces the problem of low

As government employees, we face
the problem of low wages.

• Replace his with an article or drop it altogether.
Instead of


A researcher must
acknowledge all his

A researcher must acknowledge all

• Replace he with one when warranted by the text.
Instead of


The individual often
wonders how he can help at
this time of crisis.

One often wonders how one can help
in this time of crisis.

• Recast the sentence into an impersonal or passive form.
Instead of


The student must submit his
papers on time.

Papers must be submitted on time.

• When you have to use third person pronouns throughout a long text,
- use both female and male pronouns but vary the order.


- alternate male and female pronouns throughout the text.
- repeat the noun or find a synonym.

Sex-role stereotyping


Our language often has unconscious sexist assumptions, e.g. that surgeons are always
men or nurses are always women.


• Identify both men and women in the same way when it comes to profession or
Instead of


stewardess, steward

flight attendant

• Do not represent women or men as occupying only certain jobs or roles.
Instead of


convention participants and
their wives

convention participants and their

• Treat men and women in a parallel manner.
Instead of


man and wife

husband and wife

• Avoid language that calls attention to the sex or sex role of the referent, e.g.
working mothers or working wives.

Sexist language in quoted material


What do you do when your secondary sources use sexist language?


• Paraphrase the quote, using non-sexist language and give the original author
credit for the idea.
• Quote directly and add sic after the sexist part.
• Partially quote the material, rephrase the sexist part and name the source.



The next phase in the local legislation cycle is the enactment of ordinances and codes of
ordinances. An ordinance is deemed effective only when it has been duly enacted by the
sanggunian and approved by the local chief executive according to a set of prescribed rules
of procedure referred to as the legislative process. All legislative measures go through the
legislative process before they are deemed approved and ready for implementation.

The process of enactment of ordinances involves two core activities or tasks of the
sanggunian: 1) the conduct of sessions, and 2) the conduct of committee meetings and
hearings. This section provides tools for:

understanding the legislative process
conduct of sessions
conduct of committee meetings and hearings
codification of ordinances

The following tools may be useful to the sanggunian in enacting ordinances and codes of

Tool 1 -

The Local Legislative Process

Tool 2 -

The Local Legislative Process Flowchart

Tool 3 -

Template: The Order of Business

Tool 4 -

Template: The Committee Report

Tool 5 -

Template: Minutes of a Public Hearing

Tool 6 -

Template: The CSO Yellow Pages

Tool 7 -

Steps in Codification

Tool 8 -

Template: Resolution Creating the Technical Committee on Codification

Tool 9 -

Template: Action Plan for Codification

Tool 10-

Sample Format for Listing of Ordinance

Tool 11-

Sample Format for Classification of Ordinances

Tool 12-

Sample Code of General Ordinances

Tool 13-

Sample Administrative Code

Tool 14-

Sample Gender and Development Code

Tool 15-

Sample Environment Code


1. Understanding the Legislative Process

Sanggunian members should know and understand the legislative process as the core of
the sanggunian’s work.
With this knowledge, sanggunian members can actively
participate in sessions and committee work.

Tools 1 and 2 describe the legislative process as a set of procedures that ensure the
participatory and transparent nature of legislative decision-making. It involves stakeholders
internal and external to the sanggunian, which play roles that influence the substance of the
ordinance. Internal stakeholders are sanggunian members, sanggunian secretary and staff.
External stakeholders are the LCE, heads of administrative departments, civil society
organizations and individuals.

Tool 2
Steps in Enacting Ordinances and Resolutions

Following are the procedural steps in enacting ordinances and resolutions:

Phase 1. Introduction or Sponsorship

Step 1. The measure is filed by a sanggunian member or group of members with the
secretary in its draft form.
Step 2. The secretary records the draft measure in a logbook with the following information:

o Name of the author/authors

o Title of the proposed ordinance or resolution

o Date filed, and

o The number assigned to it.

Step 3. The title of the measure is read on first reading. If a measure is proposed by a
committee and presented with a report, it need not go through first reading but is
scheduled for second reading.
Step 4. The presiding officer assigns the measure to a committee that will study it.

Phase 2. Committee Deliberation and Action

Step 5. The committee conducts a meeting and/or hearing to hear the arguments for and
against the measure. These can be attended by members of government
agencies and nongovernmental organizations.


Step 6. The committee takes action by reporting out the measure. The committee action is
either favorable or unfavorable.

o If favorable, report is submitted to the committee on rules which calendars the

measure for second reading.

o If unfavorable, measure is laid on the table, the author or authors are given

notice stating reasons for the action.

o To ensure that all measures are acted upon without delay, committees may

be mandated by the internal rules to prepare a report whether action on a
measure is favorable or unfavorable. This will ensure no measure is left
unacted and build the civil society groups’ trust in the sincerity and capacity of
the sanggunian to address community issues and problems.

Phase 3. Sanggunian Deliberations

Step 7. The measure is read in its entirety on second reading during a session.
Step 8. The committee that studied the measure sponsors it on the floor by explaining the
nature of the measure and recommending its approval by the body.
Step 9. The measure is subjected to debate and amendments.
Step 10. The secretary prepares copies of the measure incorporating the amendments and
distributes these to the members at least three days before its third and final

Phase 4. Third Reading and Final Voting

Step 11. The measure is voted upon on third reading in the session.

o A quorum must be present before voting is taken.

o The number of those who voted for and against is recorded.

o The measure is deemed approved by the sanggunian. The secretary certifies

the measure correct and the presiding officer signs it before it is transmitted
to the LCE for approval.

Phase 5. Approval and Review

Step 12. The approved measure is presented to the LCE for action. The LCE may approve
or veto the ordinance.

o If the LCE approves the measure, he/she affixes his/her signature on each

and every page of the measure


o If it is vetoed by the LCE, the measure is returned to the sanggunian for


o The veto shall be communicated to the sanggunian within 15 days in the case

of the province, and 10 days in the case of city or municipality; otherwise, the
ordinance is deemed approved as if the LCE had signed it.

o The sanggunian may override the veto with a two thirds vote of its members

making the ordinance or resolution legal and binding.
Step 13. An approved ordinance or resolution goes to a higher level sanggunian for review.

o An ordinance or resolution from a component city or municipality shall be

reviewed by the provincial sanggunian three days after its approval.

o An ordinance or resolution of a sangguniang barangay shall be submitted for

review within 10 days after its enactment.

o If no action is taken by a higher level sanggunian within 30 days after

submission of an ordinance or resolution, it shall be deemed valid.

Phase 6. Publication and Effectivity

Step 14. The secretary shall order the posting of the ordinance or resolution in a bulletin
board at the entrance to the city or municipal hall or at the provincial capitol; and in
at least two conspicuous places in the LGU concerned not later than five days after
its approval.

o The text of the ordinance or resolution shall be disseminated in Pilipino or

English and in the Philippine dialect understood by the majority of the people.

o Unless otherwise stated in therein, the ordinance shall take effect ten days

from the date a copy of it is posted.

o Ordinances with penal provisions shall be posted for a minimum of three

consecutive weeks, and published in a newspaper of general circulation
within the territorial jurisdiction of the local government unit concerned except
in the case of barangay ordinances. Unless otherwise provided therein, the
ordinance shall take effect on the day following its publication, or at the end of
the period of posting, whichever occurs later.



Filing of Proposed Measure
(any member)

Measure recorded in logbook or
legislative tracking system

(title only)

Committee Referral of
Proposed Measure

Committee Hearing and

Committee Report

(Entire draft measure is read)

Phase 1: Introduction

Approval or Veto
by Mayor

Debate and Amendments

Printing and Distribution of Final

(Final vote with quorum)

Committee Sponsorship of



Phase 2: Committee
Deliberation & Action

Phase 3: Sanggunian















Phase 4: Final Voting

Phase 5: Approval and

Phase 6: Publication &



Tool 2
The Local Legislative Process


Conducting a Sanggunian Session

“Be it enacted by the Sanggunian assembled that…” This phrase captures the importance of
the sanggunian acting as a collegial body in approving an ordinance or resolution. In short,
an ordinance can only be valid if enacted by a sanggunian that has assembled in a session
for the purpose. The conduct of sessions therefore is an important activity of the sanggunian
and must be guided by clear procedures.

A session refers to a single meeting or a series of meetings which may last for one-half day
or for a number of days until the purpose for which the meeting is called is transacted.

A basic requirement for the conduct an effective session is an agenda or what is referred to
in legislative bodies as the “Order of Business.” The Order of Business is simply the order
in which the sanggunian considers items of legislative business.

The Order of Business contains the following:

1. Call to Order. The Presiding Officer calls the session to order by banging his
gavel and saying, “The session is called to order.”

2. National Anthem and Invocation. This is optional for legislative bodies.

3. Roll Call. This is done to determine if a quorum exists. A quorum is the number
of sanggunian members who must be present at a particular session to legally
transact legislative business.

4. Privilege Speech. In this part, any member of the sanggunian may speak on
any matter of general interest.

5. Question Hour. This refers to the appearance of a department head before the
sanggunian to answer questions on any matter pertaining to his department.


6. First Reading and Referral of Measures and Communications. This refers to
the part of the meeting where important documents such as proposed
ordinances, resolutions, petitions or requests and other communication, are
referred to specific committees for action.

7. Committee Reports. Committee reports are read by number, title and subject
matter together with the recommendations of the committee that is making the

8. Calendar of Business. This is the core of the session and consists of the


o Unfinished Business. Refers to business being conducted by the

sanggunian at the time of its last adjournment. Its consideration shall be
resumed until it is disposed of.

o Business for the Day. Refers to ordinances and resolutions reported out

by committees for second reading. The items are taken up in the order
they appear in the calendar.

o Unassigned Business. Refers to the list of proposed legislative measures

reported by the committee but not calendared for discussion as the dates
have yet to be determined by the Committee on Rules.

9. Business on Third and Final Reading. This refers to the ordinances and
resolutions approved on second reading and scheduled by the sanggunian for a
final vote.

10. Other Matters. In this part, the sanggunian may discuss other matters not
included in the calendar of business.

11. Adjournment. To adjourn means to end a session.


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