MANILA -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminded government officials on Wednesday to closely follow health protocols or face penalties.
“Government officials must really take the lead and must lead by example,” DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said during a virtual briefing with the Department of Health.
Malaya was asked if the DILG plans to craft guidelines on what can happen if an official violates health protocols. This after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque drew flak for attending a crowded event in Bantayan Island.
Not mentioning any official, Malaya said there was no need for new guidelines since health protocol violations would fall under local ordinances.
“If a government official is invited to an event and he cannot assure that minimum health standards [will] be implemented during that event, it would be best if the government official will just decline to attend,” he said.
Malaya pointed out: ”If however even government officials cannot comply how can we expect the general public to comply?”
“The Secretary Eduardo Año has already directed the Philippine National Police to investigate certain individuals who allegedly were found to have been in an event found violating health protocols,” the undersecretary said without mentioning names.
He said local government officials who violate protocols will be under the jurisdiction of the DILG and that they will file recommendations for the Office of the Ombudsman or the Office of President. Meanwhile, the recommendation will be sent to the head of a branch of government if the official is not under DILG.
He said government officials found guilty will face the same penalties prescribed in the local ordinance. This can range from a warning to a fine and to filing of charges.
“We will consider this on a case-to-case basis,” Malaya said.