Continuing development –  Atty. Amado Maralit of the Philippine Senate (top left) gives his expertise to the Cordillera Regional Development Council represented by NEDA-CAR Regional Director Milagros Rimando (top left) and members of the private sector, line agencies, and local government units.

BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council ended the year with a capacity building activity on parliamentary rules and procedures. Senate Director and chief counselor on Senate parliamentary law, Atty. Amado Maralit, discussed the different applications of parliamentary procedure and protocol during the half-day activity on December 23.

“It is not necessary for you to be a lawyer to be a proper parliamentarian”, said Maralit. Knowing and following an organization’s rules is crucial to conduct orderly meetings and capture meeting agreements properly. Maralit described parliamentary procedure as a democratic device to help the Filipinos make decisions in order and to avoid unruly meetings. Practically, it is a way to maximize meetings with an emphasis on respect and procedure.

While Atty. Maralit advised that the organization must have its own rules, he noted that it helps to know established fundamentals of parliamentary procedure. He recommends Robert’s Rules of Order, a time-tested guide to parliamentary procedure used by United States organizations and their allies. A good and productive meeting according to Maralit is one in which the Chairperson is knowledgeable of the rules. He said that can be made decisions in the presence of a quorum and are not illegal, improper, or unconstitutional. Ultimately, rules can give way to practicality in the service of the organization’s agenda, which in this case, is for regional and national development.

RDC Vice-Chair and NEDA-CAR Regional Director Milagros Rimando said that the activity is aimed to “drive further our agenda of Cordillera regional development”. The Regional Development Council and its sectoral & support committees are composed of representatives from the Private Sector, Regional Line Agencies, Local Government Units, and the House of Representatives with NEDA-CAR serving as the technical and administrative secretariat.

It is the highest policy-making body in the Cordillera region. Decisions are made in the form of resolutions endorsed by its various committees and the quarterly en banc meetings. The meetings are held with its own set of house rules. The training/orientation on parliamentary rules and procedure increases the capability of the RDC members in making fair and efficient decisions towards furthering the region’s agenda for development.