LOBOC, Bohol – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan joint committees on tourism and review of municipal ordinances bared that it have not received a measure governing the “turno-turno” scheme among the operators of floating restaurants in river cruising instituted by municipal government in this tourist town. In its report No. 2015-02, the joint committees said that “there was no record found to have been submitted nor approved Ordinance, Resolution or any legislative measure subject to the review” by said lead committee on review of municipal ordinances.
This came as following floating resto operator Teresita Labunog Sumampong sent a letter address to the SP, “formally registering her protest and interposing strong objections to the approval of the Ordinance to effect and adopt a “Turno-turno” scheme among owners and operators of the floating restaurant/river cruising business along the Loboc River.”
The joint committee report said that it cannot act on her opposition to it since there was no Ordinance governing the said scheme. The said committee was informed that if it was Loboc Resolution that set regulations on the “turno-turno” system still it cannot act on it since the SP is not mandated by the Local Government Code to review Resolutions from the municipalities.
The row between the municipality and Labunog erupted when the the municipal mayor started to implement the “turno-turno” system.
Labunog family and municipal Kagawad Erwin Bacquial questioned the said measure allegedly for lack of ample public hearing, reports said.
Both camps traded charges and counter-charges in proper court following the alleged blocking of floating resto owned by Sumampong by town authorities. The incidents of blocking Sumampong’s floating restaurants was carried out upon the order of the mayor since the former did not follow the “turno-turno.”
The joint committee report adopted by the SP found that Sumampng’s letter submitted to the SP had attached two court orders from the Regional Trial Court Branch 50 of the Municipality of Loay. “In the two orders it ruled against the Municipal Mayor of Loboc, Bohol, both quoted en toto as follows:”
“In this connection, the so-called “torno-torno” system shall be suspended until both sides can be more fully heard reading its justification. Since the other floating restaurants are apparently blocking and preventing the Petitioner from operating, the police escorts shall supervise the removal of any object that obstructs the free entrance and egress (shipside or otherwise) of the Petitioner’s crew and her guests.” The order dated Nov.25,2013, the committee said.
“Premises considered, the court hereby resolves to issue a preliminary injunction against the respondent mayor and the latter’s allies, enjoining them from preventing the petitioner, directly or indirectly, from continuing with her floating restaurant operation. Just as the other operators are free to join the “turno-turno” as they please, the petitioner should not be compelled to join the scheme until the guidelines and justification thereof are more clearly explained to the court. After all, the court does not see any serious flaw in the old system where everyone was happy and no one could feel any tension while enjoying the Loboc River Cruise.” The order was dated December 2. 2013.
Because of this ruling the joint committee and SP cannot act nor comment on it considering that it would be “premature” to do so. Besides, “there is already a ruling from a co-equal body of the government of which the Legislative Body cannot encroach upon, “the joint committees said. The committee report was signed by Board members Godofreda Tirol, Venzencio Arcamo, Abeleon Damalerio, Antonio Ouano, Jr, and Josephine Socorro Jumamoy.