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How an Ordinance Becomes Law


ORDINANCES AND resolutions are different from each other. An ordinance is a permanent law. A resolution is temporary in nature. Both ordinances and resolutions, however, have to go through the following process before they become laws:

  1. A proposed ordinance or resolution is made in writing. It contains an assigned control number, title, enacting clause, and date of proposed effectivity. It is accompanied by a brief note explaining why it should be approved.

  2. The ordinance/resolution is posted simultaneously in at least four public places (town halls, plazas, barangay halls, public markets/churches) or published thrice in a local newspaper within 10 days from its filing.

  3. Written notices are sent to interested or affected parties. Signed copies are also submitted by the author(s) to the Sanggunian secretary who reports receiving it in a Sanggunian (council) meeting.

  4. The ordinance/resolution is referred to an appropriate Sanggunian committee. It will be considered on second reading only if it has been reported by the assigned committee or certified as urgent by the mayor or governor.

  5. The Sanggunian secretary prepares copies of the proposed ordinance/resolution in the form it was passed on second reading and gives a copy to each Sanggunian member.

  6. The Sanggunian holds public hearings 10 days after notices are sent or the last day of publication of the proposed ordinance, whichever is later.

  7. The Sanggunian passes the proposed ordinance and prepares the minutes. Note that immediately after debate or amendments during the second reading, a measure certified as urgent by the mayor or governor may be submitted for final voting. A resolution need not go through a third reading for final consideration unless decided otherwise by a majority of the Sanggunian.

  8. A resolution or ordinance is considered valid only if it was approved by a majority of the members present during the meeting. A quorum must be established first. Any resolution or ordinance authorizing or directing payment of money requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the Sanggunian for approval. The Sanggunian records the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ votes.

  9. Each approved ordinance/resolution is stamped with the seal of the Sanggunian and recorded in a book. It is then submitted to the mayor or governor for action.

  10. The mayor or governor approves or vetoes the proposed ordinance. An approval requires the mayor or governor to affix his/her signature on its every page. In case of a veto, the chief executive notifies the Sanggunian within 15 days of the veto in case of a province and 10 days in case of a city or municipality. Otherwise, the ordinance is considered approved. The Sanggunian can override a veto with a two-thirds vote.

  11. The ordinance is published in a local newspaper within 10 days of its approval before it takes effect.

  12. The ordinance undergoes review. The Sangguniang Panlungsod (city) or Bayan (municipal) sends it to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (province) for review. Action is required within 30 days. Appeals may be raised to the justice department within 30 days from the effectivity of the ordinance. The justice department has 60 days to decide. An appeal has no effect of suspending the effectivity of the ordinance.

Sources: The Governor’s Handbook, Local Government Code, Constitution, and Investigating Local Governments. Adapted from

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