A total of five out of 16 local chief executives have submitted their explanation over reports that they were absent or missing from their areas of jurisdiction during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong last month, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge, Secretary Eduardo M. Año said Wednesday.
“We will assess their alibi or explanation and kung wala talaga ditong justification , we will ensure sanction,” Año told reporters after the launch of Bantay Korapsyon in Quezon City.
Of the 16 mayors, nine are from Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), while seven are from the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Año earlier issued a statement directing the mayors to be physically present in their respective local government units (LGUs) to achieve “zero casualty.”
“They are the chairman of the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC). Paano makaka-function yung DRRMC sa lokal kung wala yung mayor?” he added.
He gave the mayors five days from receipt of the show cause order to explain the matter. He also directed the local officials to inform the DILG of the actions their respective offices have undertaken to ease the effects of the recent calamity.
Since the five days have lapsed, Año said the 11 mayors have sought an extension to find some papers to support their explanation.
“Let’s give them the chance, then we will do our part after they submit their explanation,” he said.
Año said after they complete the investigation, they will disclose the names of the local officials.
On Sept. 14, the DILG issued an advisory for all mayors to be present in their respective areas once “Ompong” makes landfall to ensure immediate government response.
Under Republic Act No. 10121 (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010), the local chief executive heads the Local DRRMC and directly controls the DRRM Office of their respective LGUs.
The mayor is also tasked to carry out such emergency measures as may be necessary during and in the aftermath of man-made and natural disasters and calamities under the Local Government Code. (PNA)