DILG revokes travel authority of local officials during disasters

Credit to Author: ROY NARRA| Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2019 02:40:14 +0000

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday revoked the local and foreign travel authority of local government officials during emergencies and calamities to ensure their presence in their areas if jurisdiction.

The DILG order stemmed from the administrative cases it filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against five Northern Luzon mayors for being absent in their respective towns during the onslaught of Typhoon “Ompong” in September 2018.

In the memorandum issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to local government officials, their approved travel authorities or leave of absence would be cancelled immediately in case of natural or man-made disasters and calamities.

“Local chief executives should be physically present in their respective stations especially during times of disasters. As chairpersons of their respective local disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) committees, they must personally oversee their local disaster management preparations and operations,” Interior spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

The memorandum was also directed to the heads of local DRRM and other appropriate department heads and Sangguniang Panlalawigan members whose chairmanship is peace and order and crisis management, DRRM, social welfare and development, and women, youth, children, or indigenous people

The DILG officially endorsed the filing of charges against four mayors from Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and one mayor from Cagayan before the Ombudsman for having “inadequate and unjustified” excuses for being absent in their area during the onslaught of Ompong.

They are Felix Edarte of Tayum, Abra; Ringor Luspian of Mankayan, Benguet; Mateo Chiyawan of Natonin, Mountain Province; Jose Limmayog of Sadanga, Moutain Province; and Brenda Belarmino-Ruma of Rizal, Cagayan.

Meanwhile, the DILG warned the following mayors for not personally supervising evacuation, rescue, and relief operations in their areas: Robert Seares of Dolores, Abra; Marjorie Salazar of Lasam, Cagayan; Kim Turingan of Enrile, Cagayan; Carmelo Villacete of Piat, Cagayan; Jenalyn Carag of Solana, Cagayan; and Francisco Mamba of Tuao, Cagayan.

Ompong was the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2018, leaving 127 casualties and P34 billion worth worth of damage to infrastructure and agriculture.

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