MORE than 10 municipal mayors in Cagayan Valley Region (CVR) and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) may face show-cause orders for being physically absent during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“We were surprised with the reports received at the Central Office of absentee mayors whose local government units (LGUs) are part of the critical areas in the Typhoon Ompong track,” said DILG Undersecretary for Peace and Order Bernardo C. Florece Jr. during the press conference yesterday at the DILG central office in Quezon City.
Based on the DILG’s Operation Listo protocols, local chief executives (LCEs) 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.
Florece said the DILG is currently investigating and validating the field reports, saying that LCEs who are found culpable and liable for absenteeism and negligence of duty may be sanctioned with 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 added.
DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya said the actual names of the municipal/city mayors could not be divulged at the moment as the department is still reviewing their performances vis-à-vis the Operation Listo protocols.
“The department doesn’t want trial by publicity so the actual names of erring mayors will be released after the investigation is complete,” Malaya said.
He said mayors who would unfortunately be proven negligent or remiss of doing their duty especially as chairpersons of their respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) need to provide a written explanation or justification within the prescribed period why no disciplinary action shall be taken against them.
“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.
The DILG Asec added that being the agency mandated to exercise general supervision over the LGUs, DILG Chief Eduardo M. Año enjoined the LCEs days ahead to be physically present in their respective LGUs before, during, and after the wallop of Ompong.