In earlier pronouncements published in local newspapers, however, the city council's security head was quoted to have said persons wearing slippers shall be barred entry during sessions.
Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, who in her inaugural speech talked tough on transparency and accountability of the employees and the councilors, asked the public to cooperate on the matter of dress code to "preserve the sanctity" of the council.
The report on "no entry for those on slippers" was greeted by some Dabawenyos interviewed by reporters as "discriminatory." The vice mayor stressed the clarification to reporters on July 24 saying being poor or rich should not be an issue.
Duterte said she will issue next week the memorandum order for the new dress code, which comes with more stringent security measures.
Even before the formal order, security checks had already been conducted at the door to the session hall.
No frisking was made during the time of Vice Mayor Luis Bonguyan, even during deliberations on controversial aerial spray ban when people from opposing sides of the proposed ordinance packed the hall or during the presentation of drug deal suspects by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte when he was "summoned" by the council for updates.
Duterte said those wearing slippers and t-shirts could be admitted because not everyone can afford to buy a pair of shoes or polo.
But Duterte said those wearing shorts, mini skirts, basketball jerseys, revealing ladies outfit, caps and other inappropriate outfit will be barred from entering the hall while the session is ongoing.
"I'm sure those who could buy micro-mini could afford to buy pants or proper skirts," she said.
Duterte added that children will still be allowed in the session hall but only when they are attended to by adults.
She also cited the use of cellular phones during session and cited a reporter whose phone rang loudly while she was presiding over the session on July 24.
Even the legislative staff of the councilors is not allowed to enter the councilors' area during sessions. She also stressed there is an area for reporters.
Eyes were trained on vendors, too. Except for food peddlers, vendors are barred from the Sangguniang Panlungsod building. The food peddlers are given specific time during the day to sell inside the building.
Duterte singled out those offering personal care services, such as manicure and pedicure or those vending ready to wear clothes. She said there should be no market for them inside a government building where employees are supposed to work and have "no time to relax."
Duterte already warned generally about this in her inaugural speech on June 30.
She asked government officials and employees, especially at the city council, to give constituents simple courtesy and behavior as public servants.
She noted the bureaucracy's negative image such as its slowness in processing documents and enacting bills. "I abhor stupidity and mediocre work, so I respectfully request you to toe the line," she said then without batting an eye lash. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)