The governor’s refusal to secure a permit goes beyond surfing. This is about upholding the rule of law and local autonomy as enshrined in the Local Government Code. Imagine if we allow a person as powerful as the governor to do what is illegal, imagine the repercussions and the kind of message we send to the community and the whole nation.

A permit is needed. That has never been in question. Even the DILG acknowledged that a permit is needed under Section 444 of the Local Government Code. In addition, the LGU has a valid and operative ordinance that all sports activities should be under the direct supervision of the Office of the Mayor. Section 5 of the Local Government Code also states:
“Any provision on a power of a local government unit shall be liberally interpreted in its favor, and in case of doubt, any question thereon shall be resolved in favor of devolution of power and of the lower local government unit. Any fair and reasonable doubt as to the existence of the power shall be interpreted in the favor of the local government unit concerned.”

The question is, why did the Governor refuse to apply for a permit from the Local Government Unit of Gen. Luna (LGU-GL) when in fact he applied for a mayor’s permit from other municipalities like Dapa, San Isidro, and San Benito?

It is sad that the Governor chose to cancel the Gov’s Cup rnather than apply for a mayor’s permit. The mayor’s permit for the event was, in fact, ready, already printed, in anticipation that the governor would eventually heed the advice of the DILG Secretary and apply for a permit. All that the Mayor wanted was to uphold the rule of law because it is her sworn duty and she believes that we are a government of laws and not of men. Mayor Sol assures that surfing never stops in Siargao.

The LGU-GL has always been the primary host and organizer of the surfing events in Gen. Luna since 1992. The Provincial Government has ever since been just a co-organizer or sponsor. Mayor Matugas together with Cong. Bingo Matugas has long been in coordination with the World Surf League (WSL) and the United Philippine Surfing Association (UPSA) for the return of the international surfing in October of this year. The 1st Mayor Sol’s National Surfing Cup from September 28 to Oct 6, 2022, was then scheduled as a pre-event to the 26th International Surfing Cup set on Oct 15 to 21, 2022. The Governor’s Cup organized by Governor Barbers is not a qualifier for the 26th Siargao International Surfing and was only announced in September even prior to the sanctioning announcement of the UPSA.

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