DILG summons 16 mayors to explain absence during typhoon

Published September 21, 2018, 1:48 PM

by iManila Developer

By Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has summoned 16 mayors to explain their absence in their localities during the onslaught of typhoon Ompong last week.

DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya (Photo via Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya (Photo via Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the department has already issued show cause orders against 16 local chief executives, nine from Region 2 and seven from the Cordillera Administrative Region, who were given five days from receipt of the order to comment and explain on the matter.

The mayors were also directed to inform the DILG on the “actions their respective offices have undertaken with regard to the recent calamity that affected their respective areas.”

The orders, which were signed by DILG Undersecretary and Officer-In-Charge Bernardo Florece, were released Friday.

“Since they are elected public officials, we assure them that they will be given due process but if the investigation comes to the conclusion that they have been negligent or derelict in the performance of their duties, we will not hesitate to recommend appropriate sanctions against them,” Malaya said.

It was stated in the order issued to the 16 mayors that the DILG issued an advisory dated September 14, 2018 for all mayors to be present in their respective areas once Ompong strikes in order to ensure immediate government response.

Aside from the advisory, Local Government OIC-Secretary Eduardo Año also issued a press statement directing the mayors to be physically present in their respective local government units (LGUs) and aim for “zero casualties.”

DILG spokesperson Malaya added that under the Local Government Code, an elective local official may be “disciplined, suspended, or removed from office for gross negligence, dereliction of duty, or misconduct in office.”

Malaya added that under Republic Act 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the local chief executive heads the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and directly controls the DRRM Office of the locality, mandating the mayor with the duty to carry out emergency measures necessary during and in the aftermath of man-made and natural disasters and calamities.

The DILG also has Oplan Listo protocols that mayors are required to undertake before, during, and after any calamity.

Despite the reports of some “absentee mayors,” Malaya said that majority of the mayors in Regions 1, 2, and CAR who were greatly affected by Ompong performed well.

“While some mayors were reportedly absent, we are glad that the vast majority of the mayors performed well in the performance of their duties in accordance with Oplan Listo. In fact, there were few casualties outside of Itogon, Benguet,” he said.