MANILA- Local government officials are barred from traveling abroad during typhoons and other disasters, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday.
The directive aims to ensure that mayors and other officials will no longer be "missing in action" in times of calamities.
“Local chief executives should be physically present in their respective stations especially during times of disasters," DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.
The order, signed by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año last Jan. 4 bans the following officials from leaving the country or taking a leave of absence in times of disasters:
1.Mayors and vice mayors
2. Sangguniang Panlalawigan members whose chairmanship is peace and order and crisis management, disaster and risk reduction management (DRRM), social welfare and development, and women, youth, children, and IP (indigenous peoples).
3. Sangguniang Panlungsod and Bayan members whose chairmanship is peace and order and crisis management, DRRM, social welfare and development, and women, youth, children, and IP
4. Appropriate Department Heads such as Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer, among others.
The DILG also reminded local officials that governors and mayors should carry out emergency measures in times of calamities.
"Sa panahong mas kailangan sila ng kanilang constituents, dapat ay nandoon sila para umalalay at gumabay,” Malaya said.
(Officials must be in their areas of responsibility during times of calamity to guide their constituents.)
Last Monday, the DILG said it endorsed cases against 5 Northern Luzon members who were absent from their posts during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong in September 2018.
Those facing cases before the Ombudsman are Mayor Eduarte of Tayum, Abra; Mayor Luspian of Mankayan, Benguet; Mayor Chiyawan of Natonin, Mt. Province; Mayor Limmayog of Sadanga, Mt. Province; and Mayor Ruma of Rizal, Cagayan.