Travel, leaves of absence of LGU execs revoked during calamities
posted 3-Feb-2019  ·  
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Travel authority and leaves of absence of local chief executives as well as key department heads and a Sanggunian members involved in disaster risk reduction and management activities are considered immediately recalled during emergencies or calamities, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered last week.

To ensure that mayors and other local chief executives (LCEs) will no longer be "missing in action" during typhoons and other disasters, all foreign travel authorities and leaves of absence of local government officials of affected localities are recalled during such emergencies or calamities, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año stated in a memorandum dated Jan. 4, 2019 to local officials.

The other Monday, the DILG endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman cases against five (5) Northern Luzon mayors who were absent from their posts during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong in September 2018 while six others were issued a written admonition after an investigation into their conduct was done by the department.

Under the Local Government Code, the provincial governor, city mayor, and municipal mayor should carry out emergency measures as may be necessary during and in the aftermath of man-made and natural 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,” said Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.

In the memorandum, Sec. Ano also directed that in case of calamities or disasters, the provincial governor shall also recall travel authorities and/or leave of absences issued to the following: component city mayors and municipal mayors; Sangguniang Panlalawigan members whose chairmanship is peace and order and crisis management, DRRM, social welfare and development, and women, youth, children and IP; and, appropriate Department Heads such as Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer, among others.

In the same vein, the city or municipal mayor shall also recall the same travel authority or leave of absence of the following: city vice mayor and municipal vice mayor; sangguniang members whose chairmanship is peace and order and crisis management, DRRM, social welfare and development, and women, youth, children and IP; and, appropriate Department Heads such as Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer, among others.

“Public service must always be a priority. Sa panahong mas kailangan sila ng kanilang constituents, dapat ay nandoon sila para umalalay at gumabay,” said Malaya.

The DILG Secretary also enjoined all local chief executives (LCEs) to be guided by the Operation Listo Manual which prescribes the minimum early and critical preparations for mayors during hydro-meteorological hazards.

"As what is prescribed on DILG's Operation Listo Manual, LCEs must be present before, during and after any disaster. Sundin at unawain po natin ang Manual at hindi po tayo maliligaw," added Malaya.


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