R.A. No. 7160, Local Government Code of the Philippines - Elective Officials

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7160
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991

BOOK I GENERAL PROVISIONS

TITLE TWO ELECTIVE OFFICIALS

CHAPTER 1 QUALIFICATIONS AND ELECTION

SEC. 39. Qualifications. - (a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines; a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or province or, in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or sanggunian bayan, the district where he intends to be elected; a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election; and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. (b) Candidates for the position of governor, vice-governor or member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, or Mayor, vice-mayor or member of the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day. (c) Candidates for the position of mayor or vice-mayor of independent component cities, component cities, or municipalities must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on election day. (d) Candidates for the position of member of the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. (e) Candidates for the position of punong barangay or member of the sangguniang barangay must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. (f) Candidates for the sangguniang kabataan must be at least fifteen (15) years of age but not more than twenty-one (21) years of age on election day. SEC. 40. Disqualifications. - The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective local position:

(a) Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment, within two (2) years after serving sentence;

(b) Those removed from office as a result of an administrative case;

(c) Those convicted by final judgment for violating the oath of allegiance to the Republic;

(d) Those with dual citizenship;

(e) Fugitives from justice in criminal or nonpolitical cases here or abroad;

(f) Permanent residents in a foreign country or those who have acquired the right to reside abroad and continue to avail of the same right after the effectivity of this Code; and

(g) The insane or feeble-minded.

SEC. 41. Manner of Election. - (a) The governor, vice- governor, city Mayor, city vice-mayor, municipal Mayor, municipal vice-mayor, and punong barangay shall be elected at large in their respective units by the qualified voters therein. However, the sangguniang kabataan chairman for each barangay shall be elected by the registered voters of the katipunan ng kabataan, as provided in this Code. (b) The regular members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, and sangguniang bayan shall be elected by district, as may be provided for by law. Sangguniang barangay members shall be elected at large. The presidents of the leagues of sanggunian members of component cities and municipalities shall serve as ex officio members of the sangguniang panlalawigan concerned. The presidents of the liga ng mga barangay and the pederasyon ng mga sangguniang kabataan elected by their respective chapters, as provided in this Code, shall serve as ex officio members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, and sangguniang bayan. (c) In addition thereto, there shall be one (1) sectoral representative from the women, one (1) from the workers, and one (1) from any of the following sectors: the urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, disabled persons, or any other sector as may be determined by the sanggunian concerned within ninety (90) days prior to the holding of the next local elections, as may be provided for by law. The Comelec shall promulgate the rules and regulations to effectively provide for the election of such sectoral representatives. SEC. 42. Date of Election. - Unless otherwise provided by law, the elections for local officials shall be held every three (3) years on the second Monday of May. SEC. 43. Term of Office. - (a) The term of office of all local elective officials elected after the effectivity of this Code shall be three (3) years, starting from noon of June 30, 1992 or such date as may be provided for by law, except that of elective barangay officials: Provided, That all local officials first elected during the local elections immediately following the ratification of the 1987 Constitution shall serve until noon of June 30, 1992. (b) No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official concerned was elected. (c) The term of office of barangay officials and members of the sangguniang kabataan shall be for three (3) years, which shall begin after the regular election of barangay officials on the second Monday of May 1994.

CHAPTER 2 VACANCIES AND SUCCESSION

SEC. 44. Permanent Vacancies in the Offices of the Governor, Vice-Governor, Mayor, and Vice-Mayor. - If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or Mayor, the vice-governor or vice-mayor concerned shall become the governor or Mayor. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice-governor, Mayor, or vice-mayor, the highest ranking sanggunian member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking sanggunian member, shall become the governor, vice-governor, Mayor or vice-mayor, as the case may be. Subsequent vacancies in the said office shall be filled automatically by the other sanggunian members according to their ranking as defined herein. (b) If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the punong barangay, the highest ranking sanggunian barangay member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking sanggunian member, shall become the punong barangay. (c) A tie between or among the highest ranking sanggunian members shall be resolved by the drawing of lots. (d) The successors as defined herein shall serve only the unexpired terms of their predecessors. For purposes of this Chapter, a permanent vacancy arises when an elective local official fills a higher vacant office, refuses to assume office, fails to qualify, dies, is removed from office, voluntarily resigns, or is otherwise permanently incapacitated to discharge the functions of his office. For purposes of succession as provided in this Chapter, ranking in the sanggunian shall be determined on the basis of the proportion of votes obtained by each winning candidate to the total number of registered voters in each district in the immediately preceding local election. SEC. 45. Permanent Vacancies in the Sanggunian. - (a) Permanent vacancies in the sanggunian where automatic successions provided above do not apply shall be filled by appointment in the following manner:

(1) The President, through the Executive Secretary, in the case of the sangguniang panlalawigan and the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities and independent component cities;

(2) The governor, in the case of the sangguniang panlungsod of component cities and the sangguniang bayan;

(3) The city or municipal mayor, in the case of sangguniang barangay, upon recommendation of the sangguniang barangay concerned.

(b) Except for the sangguniang barangay, only the nominee of the political party under which the sanggunian member concerned had been elected and whose elevation to the position next higher in rank created the last vacancy in the sanggunian shall be appointed in the manner hereinabove provided. The appointee shall come from the same political party as that of the sanggunian member who caused the vacancy and shall serve the unexpired term of the vacant office. In the appointment herein mentioned, a nomination and a certificate of membership of the appointee from the highest official of the political party concerned are conditions sine qua non, and any appointment without such nomination and certification shall be null and void ab initio and shall be a ground for administrative action against the official responsible therefor. (c) In case the permanent vacancy is caused by a sanggunian member who does not belong to any political party, the local chief executive shall, upon recommendation of the sanggunian concerned, appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy. (d) In case of vacancy in the representation of the youth and the barangay in the sanggunian, said vacancy shall be filled automatically by the official next in rank of the organization concerned. SEC. 46. Temporary Vacancy in the Office of the Local Chief Executive. - (a) When the governor, city or municipal Mayor, or punong barangay is temporarily incapacitated to perform his duties for physical or legal reasons such as, but not limited to, leave of absence, travel abroad, and suspension from office, the vice-governor, city or municipal vice-mayor, or the highest ranking sangguniang barangay member shall automatically exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the local chief executive concerned, except the power to appoint, suspend, or dismiss employees which can only be exercised if the period of temporary incapacity exceeds thirty (30) working days. (b) Said temporary incapacity shall terminate upon submission to the appropriate sanggunian of a written declaration by the local chief executive concerned that he has reported back to office. In cases where the temporary incapacity is due to legal causes, the local chief executive concerned shall also submit necessary documents showing that said legal causes no longer exist. (c) When the incumbent local chief executive is traveling within the country but outside his territorial jurisdiction for a period not exceeding three (3) consecutive days, he may designate in writing the officer-in-charge of the said office. Such authorization shall specify the powers and functions that the local official concerned shall exercise in the absence of the local chief executive except the power to appoint, suspend, or dismiss employees. (d) In the event, however, that the local chief executive concerned fails or refuses to issue such authorization, the vice-governor, the city or municipal vice-mayor, or the highest ranking sangguniang barangay member, as the case may be, shall have the right to assume the powers, duties, and functions of the said office on the fourth (4th) day of absence of the said local chief executive, subject to the limitations provided in subsection (c) hereof. (e) Except as provided above, the local chief executive shall in no case authorize any local official to assume the powers, duties, and functions of the office, other than the vice-governor, the city or municipal vice-mayor, or the highest ranking sangguniang barangay member, as the case may be. SEC. 47. Approval of Leaves of Absence. - (a) Leaves of absence of local elective officials shall be approved as follows: (1) Leaves of absence of the governor and the mayor of a highly urbanized city or an independent component city shall be approved by the President or his duly authorized representative; (2) Leaves of absence of a vice-governor or a city or municipal vice-mayor shall be approved by the local chief executive concerned: Provided, That the leaves of absence of the members of the sanggunian and its employees shall be approved by the vice-governor or city or municipal vice-mayor concerned; (3) Leaves of absence of the component city or municipal mayor shall be approved by the governor; and (4) Leaves of absence of a punong barangay shall be approved by the city or municipal mayor: Provided, That leaves of absence of sangguniang barangay members shall be approved by the punong barangay. (b) Whenever the application for leave of absence hereinabove specified is not acted upon within five (5) working days after receipt thereof, the application for leave of absence shall be deemed approved.

CHAPTER 3 LOCAL LEGISLATION

SEC. 48. Local Legislative Power. - Local legislative power shall be exercised by the sangguniang panlalawigan for the province; the sangguniang panlungsod for the city; the sangguniang bayan for the municipality; and the sangguniang barangay for the barangay. SEC. 49. Presiding Officer. - (a) The vice-governor shall be the presiding officer of the sangguniang panlalawigan; the city vice-mayor, of the sangguniang panlungsod; the municipal vice-mayor, of the sangguniang bayan; and the punong barangay, of the sangguniang barangay. The presiding officer shall vote only to break a tie. (b) In the event of the inability of the regular Presiding officer to preside at a sanggunian session, the members present and constituting a quorum shall elect from among themselves a temporary presiding officer. He shall certify within ten (10) days from the passage of ordinances enacted and resolutions adopted by the sanggunian in the session over which he temporarily presided. SEC. 50. Internal Rules of Procedure. - (a) On the first regular session following the election of its members and within ninety (90) days thereafter, the sanggunian concerned shall adopt or update its existing rules of procedure. (b) The rules of procedure shall provide for the following:

(1) The organization of the sanggunian and the election of its officers as well as the creation of standing committees which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the committees on appropriations, women and family, human rights, youth and sports development, environmental protection, and cooperatives; the general jurisdiction of each committee; and the election of the chairman and members of each committee;

(2) The order and calendar of business for each session;

(3) The legislative process;

(4) The parliamentary procedures which include the conduct of members during sessions;

(5) The discipline of members for disorderly behavior and absences without justifiable cause for four (4) consecutive sessions, for which they may be censured, reprimanded, or excluded from the session, suspended for not more than sixty (60) days, or expelled: Provided, That the penalty of suspension or expulsion shall require the concurrence of at least two-thirds (2/3) vote of all the sanggunian members: Provided, further, That a member convicted by final judgment to imprisonment of at least one (1) year for any crime involving moral turpitude shall be automatically expelled from the sanggunian; and (6) Such other rules as the sanggunian may adopt.

SEC. 51. Full Disclosure of Financial and Business Interests of Sanggunian Members. - (a) Every sanggunian member shall, upon assumption to office, make a full disclosure of his business and financial interests. He shall also disclose any business, financial, or professional relationship or any relation by affinity or consanguinity within the fourth civil degree, which he may have with any person, firm, or entity affected by any ordinance or resolution under consideration by the sanggunian of which he is a member, which relationship may result in conflict of interest. Such relationship shall include:

(1) Ownership of stock or capital, or investment, in the entity or firm to which the ordinance or resolution may apply; and

(2) Contracts or agreements with any person or entity which the ordinance or resolution under consideration may affect. In the absence of a specific constitutional or statutory provision applicable to this situation, "conflict of interest" refers in general to one where it may be reasonably deduced that a member of a sanggunian may not act in the public interest due to some private, pecuniary, or other personal considerations that may tend to affect his judgment to the prejudice of the service or the public.

(b) The disclosure required under this Act shall be made in writing and submitted to the secretary of the sanggunian or the secretary of the committee of which he is a member. The disclosure shall, in all cases, form part of the record of the proceedings and shall be made in the following manner:

(1) Disclosure shall be made before the member participates in the deliberations on the ordinance or resolution under consideration: Provided, That, if the member did not participate during the deliberations, the disclosure shall be made before voting on the ordinance or resolution on second and third readings; and

(2) Disclosure shall be made when a member takes a position or makes a privilege speech on a matter that may affect the business interest, financial connection, or professional relationship described herein.

SEC. 52. Sessions. - (a) On the first day of the session immediately following the election of its members, the sanggunian shall, by resolution, fix the day, time, and place of its regular sessions. The minimum number of regular sessions shall be once a week for the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, and sangguniang bayan, and twice a month for the sangguniang barangay. (b) When public interest so demands, special sessions may be called by the local chief executive or by a majority of the members of the sanggunian. (c) All sanggunian sessions shall be open to the public unless a closed-door session is ordered by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members present, there being a quorum, in the public interest or for reasons of security, decency, or morality. No two (2) sessions, regular or special, may be held in a single day. (d) In the case of special sessions of the sanggunian, a written notice to the members shall be served personally at the member's usual place of residence at least twenty-four (24) hours before the special session is held. Unless otherwise concurred in by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the sanggunian members present, there being a quorum, no other matters may be considered at a special session except those stated in the notice. (e) Each sanggunian shall keep a journal and record of its proceedings which may be published upon resolution of the sanggunian concerned. SEC. 53. Quorum. - (a) A majority of all the members of the sanggunian who have been elected and qualified shall constitute a quorum to transact official business. Should a question of quorum be raised during a session, the presiding officer shall immediately proceed to call the roll of the members and thereafter announce the results. (b) Where there is no quorum, the presiding officer may declare a recess until such time as a quorum is constituted, or a majority of the members present may adjourn from day to day and may compel the immediate attendance of any member absent without justifiable cause by designating a member of the sanggunian, to be assisted by a member or members of the police force assigned in the territorial jurisdiction of the local government unit concerned, to arrest the absent member and present him at the session. (c) If there is still no quorum despite the enforcement of the immediately preceding subsection, no business shall be transacted. The presiding officer, upon proper motion duly approved by the members present, shall then declare the session adjourned for lack of quorum. SEC. 54. Approval of Ordinances. - (a) Every ordinance enacted by the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or sangguniang bayan shall be presented to the provincial governor or city or municipal mayor, as the case may be. If the local chief executive concerned approves the same, he shall affix his signature on each and every page thereof; otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the sanggunian, which may proceed to reconsider the same. The sanggunian concerned may override the veto of the local chief executive by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all its members, thereby making the ordinance or resolution effective for all legal intents and purposes. (b) The veto shall be communicated by the local chief executive concerned to the sanggunian within fifteen (15) days in the case of a province, and ten (10) days in the case of a city or a municipality; otherwise, the ordinance shall be deemed approved as if he had signed it. (c) ordinances enacted by the sangguniang barangay shall, upon approval by the majority of all its members, be signed by the punong barangay. SEC. 55. Veto Power of the Local Chief Executive. - (a) The local chief executive may veto any ordinance of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or sangguniang bayan on the ground that it is ultra vires or prejudicial to the public welfare, stating his reasons therefor in writing. (b) The local chief executive, except the punong barangay, shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriations ordinance, an ordinance or resolution adopting a local development plan and public investment program, or an ordinance directing the payment of money or creating liability. In such a case, the veto shall not affect the item or items which are not objected to. The vetoed item or items shall not take effect unless the sanggunian overrides the veto in the manner herein provided; otherwise, the item or items in the appropriations ordinance of the previous year corresponding to those vetoed, if any, shall be deemed reenacted. (c) The local chief executive may veto an ordinance or resolution only once. The sanggunian may override the veto of the local chief executive concerned by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all its members, thereby making the ordinance effective even without the approval of the local chief executive concerned. SEC. 56. Review of Component City and Municipal Ordinances or Resolutions by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. - (a) Within three (3) days after approval, the secretary to the sanggunian panlungsod or sangguniang bayan shall forward to the sangguniang panlalawigan for review, copies of approved ordinances and the resolutions approving the local development plans and public investment programs formulated by the local development councils. (b) Within thirty (30) days after receipt of copies of such ordinances and resolutions, the sangguniang panlalawigan shall examine the documents or transmit them to the provincial attorney, or if there be none, to the provincial prosecutor for prompt examination. The provincial attorney or provincial prosecutor shall, within a period of ten (10) days from receipt of the documents, inform the sangguniang panlalawigan in writing of his comments or recommendations, which may be considered by the sangguniang panlalawigan in making its decision. (c) If the sangguniang panlalawigan finds that such an ordinance or resolution is beyond the power conferred upon the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned, it shall declare such ordinance or resolution invalid in whole or in part. The sangguniang panlalawigan shall enter its action in the minutes and shall advise the corresponding city or municipal authorities of the action it has taken. (d) If no action has been taken by the sangguniang panlalawigan within thirty (30) days after submission of such an ordinance or resolution, the same shall be presumed consistent with law and therefore valid. SEC. 57. Review of Barangay Ordinances by the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan. - (a) Within ten (10) days after its enactment, the sangguniang barangay shall furnish copies of all barangay ordinances to the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned for review as to whether the ordinance is consistent with law and city or municipal ordinances. (b) If the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan, as the case may be, fails to take action on barangay ordinances within thirty (30) days from receipt thereof, the same shall be deemed approved. (c) If the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan, as the case may be, finds the barangay ordinances inconsistent with law or city or municipal ordinances, the sanggunian concerned shall, within thirty (30) days from receipt thereof, return the same with its comments and recommendations to the sangguniang barangay concerned for adjustment, amendment, or modification; in which case, the effectivity of the barangay ordinance is suspended until such time as the revision called for is effected. SEC. 58. Enforcement of Disapproved ordinances or Resolutions. - Any attempt to enforce any ordinance or any resolution approving the local development plan and public investment program, after the disapproval thereof, shall be sufficient ground for the suspension or dismissal of the official or employee concerned. SEC. 59. Effectivity of Ordinances or Resolutions. (a) Unless otherwise stated in the ordinance or the resolution approving the local development plan and public investment program, the same shall take effect after ten (10) days from the date a copy thereof is posted in a bulletin board at the entrance of the provincial capitol or city, municipal, or barangay hall, as the case may be, and in at least two (2) other conspicuous places in the local government unit concerned. (b) The secretary to the sanggunian concerned shall cause the posting of an ordinance or resolution in the bulletin board at the entrance of the provincial capitol and the city, municipal, or barangay hall in at least two (2) conspicuous places in the local government unit concerned not later than five (5) days after approval thereof. The text of the ordinance or resolution shall be disseminated and posted in Filipino or English and in the language or dialect understood by the majority of the people in the local government unit concerned, and the secretary to the sanggunian shall record such fact in a book kept for the purpose, stating the dates of approval and posting. (c) The gist of all ordinances with penal sanctions shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the province where the local legislative body concerned belongs. In the absence of any newspaper of general circulation within the province, posting of such ordinances shall be made in all municipalities and cities of the province where the sanggunian of origin is situated. (d) In the case of highly urbanized cities, the main features of the ordinance or resolution duly enacted or adopted shall, in addition to being posted, be published once in a local newspaper of general circulation within the city: Provided, That in the absence thereof the ordinance or resolution shall be published in any newspaper of general circulation.

CHAPTER 4 DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

SEC. 60. Grounds for Disciplinary Actions. - An elective local official may be disciplined, suspended, or removed from office on any of the following grounds:

(a) Disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines;

(b) Culpable violation of the Constitution;

(c) Dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, gross negligence, or dereliction of duty;

(d) Commission of any offense involving moral turpitude or an offense punishable by at least prision mayor;

(e) Abuse of authority;

(f) Unauthorized absence for fifteen (15) consecutive working days, except in the case of members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, sangguniang bayan, and sangguniang barangay;

(g) Application for, or acquisition of, foreign citizenship or residence or the status of an immigrant of another country; and

(h) Such other grounds as may be provided in this Code and other laws. An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds enumerated above by order of the proper court.

SEC. 61. Form and Filing of Administrative Complaints. - A verified complaint against any erring local elective official shall be prepared as follows:

(a) A complaint against any elective official of a province, a highly urbanized city, an independent component city or component city shall be filed before the Office of the President;

(b) A complaint against any elective official of a municipality shall be filed before the sangguniang panlalawigan whose decision may be appealed to the Office of the President; and

(c) A complaint against any elective barangay official shall be filed before the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned whose decision shall be final and executory.

SEC. 62. Notice of Hearing. - (a) Within seven (7) days after the administrative complaint is filed, the Office of the President or the sanggunian concerned, as the case may be, shall require the respondent to submit his verified answer within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof, and commence the investigation of the case within ten (10) days after receipt of such answer of the respondent. (b) When the respondent is an elective official of a province or highly urbanized city, such hearing and investigation shall be conducted in the place where he renders or holds office. For all other local elective officials, the venue shall be the place where the sanggunian concerned is located. (c) However, no investigation shall be held within ninety (90) days immediately prior to any local election, and no preventive suspension shall be imposed within the said period. If preventive suspension has been imposed prior to the 90-day period immediately preceding local election, it shall be deemed automatically lifted upon the start of aforesaid period. SEC. 63. Preventive Suspension. - (a) Preventive suspension may be imposed:

(1) By the President, if the respondent is an elective official of a province, a highly urbanized or an independent component city;

(2) By the governor, if the respondent is an elective official of a component city or municipality; or

(3) By the mayor, if the respondent is an elective official of the barangay.

(b) Preventive suspension may be imposed at any time after the issues are joined, when the evidence of guilt is strong, and given the gravity of the offense, there is great probability that the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence: Provided, That, any single preventive suspension of local elective officials shall not extend beyond sixty (60) days: Provided, further, That in the event that several administrative cases are filed against an elective official, he cannot be preventively suspended for more than ninety (90) days within a single year on the same ground or grounds existing and known at the time of the first suspension. (c) Upon expiration of the preventive suspension, the suspended elective official shall be deemed reinstated in office without prejudice to the continuation of the proceedings against him, which shall be terminated within one hundred twenty (120) days from the time he was formally notified of the case against him. However, if the delay in the proceedings of the case is due to his fault, neglect, or request, other than the appeal duly filed, the duration of such delay shall not be counted in computing the time of termination of the case. (d) Any abuse of the exercise of the power of preventive suspension shall be penalized as abuse of authority. SEC. 64. Salary of Respondent Pending Suspension. - The respondent official preventively suspended from office shall receive no salary or compensation during such suspension; but, upon subsequent exoneration and reinstatement, he shall be paid full salary or compensation including such emoluments accruing during such suspension. SEC. 65. Rights of Respondent. - The respondent shall be accorded full opportunity to appear and defend himself in person or by counsel, to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him, and to require the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence in his favor through the compulsory process of subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. SEC. 66. Form and Notice of Decision. - (a) The investigation of the case shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from the start thereof. Within thirty (30) days after the end of the investigation, the Office of the President or the sanggunian concerned shall render a decision in writing stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the reasons for such decision. Copies of said decision shall immediately be furnished the respondent and all interested parties. (b) The penalty of suspension shall not exceed the unexpired term of the respondent or a period of six (6) months for every administrative offense, nor shall said penalty be a bar to the candidacy of the respondent so suspended as long as he meets the qualifications required for the office. (c) The penalty of removal from office as a result of an administrative investigation shall be considered a bar to the candidacy of the respondent for any elective position. SEC. 67. Administrative Appeals. - Decisions in administrative cases may, within thirty (30) days from receipt thereof, be appealed to the following:

(a) The sangguniang panlalawigan, in the case of decisions of the sangguniang panlungsod of component cities and the sangguniang bayan; and

(b) The Office of the President, in the case of decisions of the sangguniang panlalawigan and the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities and independent component cities. Decisions of the Office of the President shall be final and executory.

SEC. 68. Execution Pending appeal. - An appeal shall not prevent a decision from becoming final or executory. The respondent shall be considered as having been placed under preventive suspension during the pendency of an appeal in the event he wins such appeal. In the event the appeal results in an exoneration, he shall be paid his salary and such other emoluments during the pendency of the appeal.

CHAPTER 5 RECALL

SEC. 69. By Whom Exercised. - The power of recall for loss of confidence shall be exercised by the registered voters of a local government unit to which the local elective official subject to such recall belongs. SEC. 70. Initiation of the Recall Process. - (a) Recall may be initiated by a preparatory recall assembly or by the registered voters of the local government unit to which the local elective official subject to such recall belongs. (b) There shall be a preparatory recall assembly in every province, city, district, and municipality which shall be composed of the following:

(1) Provincial level. - All mayors, vice-mayors, and sanggunian members of the municipalities and component cities;

(2) City level. - All punong barangay and sangguniang barangay members in the city;

(3) Legislative District level. - In cases where sangguniang panlalawigan members are elected by district, all elective municipal officials in the district; and in cases where sangguniang panlungsod members are elected by district, all elective barangay officials in the district; and

(4) Municipal level. - All punong barangay and sangguniang barangay members in the municipality.

(c) A majority of all the preparatory recall assembly members may convene in session in a public place and initiate a recall proceeding against any elective official in the local government unit concerned. Recall of provincial, city, or municipal officials shall be validly initiated through a resolution adopted by a majority of all the members of the preparatory recall assembly concerned during its session called for the purpose. (d) Recall of any elective provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official may also be validly initiated upon petition of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the total number of registered voters in the local government unit concerned during the election in which the local official sought to be recalled was elected. (1) A written petition for recall duly signed before the election registrar or his representative, and in the presence of a representative of the petitioner and a representative of the official sought to be recalled, and in a public place in the province, city, municipality, or barangay, as the case may be, shall be filed with the Comelec through its office in the local government unit concerned. The Comelec or its duly authorized representative shall cause the publication of the petition in a public and conspicuous place for a period of not less than ten (10) days nor more than twenty (20) days, for the purpose of verifying the authenticity and genuineness of the petition and the required percentage of voters. (2) Upon the lapse of the aforesaid period, the Comelec or its duly authorized representative shall announce the acceptance of candidates to the position and thereafter prepare the list of candidates which shall include the name of the official sought to be recalled. SEC. 71. Election on Recall. - Upon the filing of a valid resolution or petition for recall with the appropriate local office of the Comelec, the Commission or its duly authorized representative shall set the date of the election on recall, which shall not be later than thirty (30) days after the filing of the resolution or petition for recall in the case of the barangay, city, or municipal officials, and forty-five (45) days in the case of provincial officials. The official or officials sought to be recalled shall automatically be considered as duly registered candidate or candidates to the pertinent positions and, like other candidates, shall be entitled to be voted upon. SEC. 72. Effectivity of Recall. - The recall of an elective local official shall be effective only upon the election and proclamation of a successor in the person of the candidate receiving the highest number of votes cast during the election on recall. Should the official sought to be recalled receive the highest number of votes, confidence in him is thereby affirmed, and he shall continue in office. SEC. 73. Prohibition from Resignation. - The elective local official sought to be recalled shall not be allowed to resign while the recall process is in progress. SEC. 74. Limitations on Recall. - (a) Any elective local official may be the subject of a recall election only once during his term of office for loss of confidence. (b) No recall shall take place within one (1) year from the date of the official's assumption to office or one (1) year immediately preceding a regular local election. SEC. 75. Expenses Incident to Recall Elections. - All expenses incident to recall elections shall be borne by the Comelec. For this purpose, there shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act a contingency fund at the disposal of the Comelec for the conduct of recall elections.