THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday said that more than 10 municipal mayors in the “Ompong”-hit provinces are under investigation for “sleeping on the job” during the onslaught of the typhoon.
Undersecretary for Peace and Order Bernardo Florece Jr. said that they may issue show-cause orders against these mayors for being physically absent when they were supposed to be on top of the situation as local chief executives (LCEs).
Florece refused to name the 10 but said they are from the Cagayan Valley region and Cordillera Administrative Region, areas badly hit by the recent weather disturbance.
“We were surprised with the reports received at the Central Office of absentee mayors whose local government units (LGUs) were part of the critical areas in the typhoon ‘Ompong track’,” Florece said.
Under DILG’s Operation Listo protocols, LCE whose LGUs fall under the Alpha (low risk areas), Bravo (medium-risk areas), and Charlie (high-risk areas) during typhoon are mandated to undertake necessary critical preparedness actions as part of disaster preparations.
The DILG, Florece said, is investigating and validating field reports, saying that LCEs who were found culpable and liable for absenteeism and negligence of duty may face administrative cases.
“For cases filed within the DILG, the biggest sanction that LCEs will face can be suspension but for cases filed under the Ombudsman, the erring mayors could face dismissal,” he said.
DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the names of the municipal/city mayors could not be divulged at the moment as the Department is reviewing their performances vis-à-vis the “Operation Listo” protocols.
“As mandated by the Local Government Code, the presence and support of mayors in their respective areas of jurisdictions is imperative for them to carry out measures to protect their constituents from the harmful effects of disasters and calamities,” Malaya said.
Being the agency mandated to exercise general supervision over the LGUs, Malaya said that it is the standing order of DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo Año to have LCEs physically present days ahead in their respective LGUs before, during, and after the wallop of “Ompong.” With Jun Legaspi