A QUEZON City barangay conducted on Saturday the country?s first successful local initiative stopping the continued influx of informal settlers and the sale of illegal drugs in their community.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said 465 registered voters of Barangay Milagrosa in southeastern Quezon City voted in favor of the ordinance, while 384 voted against it.
The turnout, however, was poor, with only 856 out of 3,665 voters in the barangay casting their ballots.
Milagrosa, a barangay in Project 4 in Quezon City?s third district, is located near the intersection of P. Tuazon Boulevard and Katipunan Avenue. According to the National Statistics Office website, the barangay had a population of 4,929 in 2007.
The initiative was the first held under the 1987 Constitution, Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said.
?There were many initiatives, both local and national, that were started in the past years but these did not prosper. This is the first initiative that did,? he said in an interview.
The Comelec official recalled previous ?failures,? such as the two people?s initiatives to amend the Constitution and another calling for the dismantling of the Pandacan oil depot in Manila.
The poll body even promulgated several resolutions detailing a calendar of activities, including, among others, liquor and gun bans, and an information campaign period from May 5 to 12.
Republic Act No. 6735, or the Initiative and Referendum Act of 1989, regulates national and local initiatives.
The law says that if a proposition is approved by a majority of the votes cast, it shall take effect 15 days after certification by the Comelec ?as if affirmative action has been made by the local legislative body and local executive concerned.?
In barangays, a minimum of 50 voters can propose any measure to the Sangguniang Barangay or village council.
If the Sanggunian fails to act favorably on the measure, the proponents may invoke their power of initiative and inform the Comelec and Department of Interior and Local Government.