The Sangguniang Bayan or municipal council in every municipality not only crafts important ordinances but also plays a vital role in resolving at the very least in tempering the developing intensity of animosity among local residents.
A case in point is the Sangguniang Bayan of Hermosa, a progressive town in the First District of Bataan where a number of controversial land disputes are being heard in local courts. Regalado Santos, a Sangguniang Bayan member of Hermosa and chair of committee on justice, said before proceeding with the public hearing of a particular case said: “Hindi lamang po isang tao ang nagde-decide sa mga kasong idinudulog sa amin, lahat po kami ay sama-samang nagpapasya ayon sa merito ng kaso.” Santos usually reads out the basic rules on parliamentary procedure before proceeding with the public hearing.
“Kahit isa lang po ang wala rito sa binanggit na rules natin ay hindi po magkakaroon ng mabuting usapan dito,” the SB member explains. With five committee members who are also councilors, Santos proceeds with the public hearing. He gave all parties involved the chance to air their sides in the dispute involving alleged illegal collection of fees intended for the association.