DILG to affected LGUs, residents: Be prepared for any eventuality

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020   •   360

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminds residents and local government units (LGUs) of areas affected by the Taal eruption to remain vigilant despite the lowering of alert level from 4 to 3.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that even the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said that residents in the Taal area should still be on guard.

“The crisis is not over. It’s over when there is no longer any alert level,” he said. “Maging handa at listo pa rin tayo sa ano mang puwedeng mangyari para masiguro ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan, (Let us remain alert and vigilant on what might happen to ensure the safety of our fellowmen)

Año also said residents outside of the 7-km danger zone may return to their respective residences and places of work subject to clearance from their respective Local Government Units.

“Based on your sound discretion, you may advise residents, communities, and owners of business establishments, particularly those outside the 7-km Danger Zone, that they have the option to return, but must be prepared for a quick and organized evacuation at such time that the alert level will again be raised,” he said to the various LGUs.

Meanwhile, the DILG Secretary said entry into the Taal Volcano Island’s Permanent Danger Zone is strictly prohibited.

Based on reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 102,443 families were affected by the Taal eruption in the provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Laguna and Cavite and a total of P3.352-billion worth of damage to infrastructure and agriculture was incurred in Batangas, Laguna, and Cavite.—AAC

LGUs may use 20% dev’t fund in COVID-19 fight – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said that local government units (LGU) are allowed to use its 20% development fund to undertake measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in their areas.

The DILG said it has signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1, series of 2020 with the Department of Budget and Management, giving leeway for the LGUs to utilize their development fund to continue to provide basic services to their constituents.

“With the signing of the JMC, we are giving LGUs more flexibility in using their development fund for disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and to continue to provide basic services to their constituents who are severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.

Under the JMC, LGUs may use their 20% development fund for the procurement of personal protective equipment, hospital equipment, and supplies, disinfectants, sprayers, disinfection tents, and other supplies or misting equipment, and COVID-19 testing kits, reagents, and equipment.

Food, transportation, and accommodation expenses of medical personnel and other LGU personnel directly involved in the implementation of COVID-19-related initiatives as well as food assistance and relief goods for affected households may also be charged to the development fund.

Expenses for the construction or rental of additional spaces to accommodate COVID-19 PUIs and PUMs as well as for the operation of stand-alone or mobile testing laboratories may also be funded out of the development fund.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, however, clarified that there are also limitations in using the fund.

“Hindi ito puwedeng gamitin para bumili ng furniture, fixture[s], appliances at motor vehicles,” Malaya said.

The fund also does not cover personal services expenditures, such as salaries, wages, overtime pay and other personnel benefits.

Administrative expenses such as supplies, meetings, communication, water and electricity, petroleum products, other general services, as well as registration or participation fees in training, seminars, conferences or conventions as well as traveling expenses cannot also be charged to the development fund.

DILG to issue show cause order vs Rizal town mayor refusing burial for 2 Muslim COVID-19 fatalities

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said it will issue a show-cause order against a Rizal town mayor for allegedly refusing to allow the burial in their area of two Muslim Filipinos who recently succumbed to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the action of the mayor of Montalban, Rizal is “a clear defiance of government guidelines on burial amid the public health situation in the country.”

Año said the mayor reportedly refused to sign the applications for burial permits, forcing the families of the deceased to bring the bodies to a Muslim cemetery in Norzagaray, Bulacan where they were laid to rest.

The first victim died on March 22 but was only buried after almost two days while the second died on March 30.

“Limitado ang Muslim cemeteries dito sa Metro Manila. Huwag na po sana nating dagdagan pa ang pighati ng mga namatayan na nagnanais lamang na maayos na mailagak sa huling hantungan ang kanilang namatay na mahal sa buhay,” Año said.

In the Islamic faith, the deceased is to be buried within 24 hours.

On the other hand, the guidelines of the Department of Health on the disposal and shipment of COVID-19 fatalities stipulate that burial must be done within 12 hours, with cremation as the preferred method, but “to the most possible extent, be in accordance with the person’s religion or customs.”

“We are displeased with the disregard of the town mayor of Islamic traditions and I have already ordered our legal office to issue the show cause order to the Mayor of Montalban, Rizal,” the DILG chief said.

“Imagine the inconvenience of transporting their dead all the way from Metro Manila to Rizal and passing through checkpoints only to be turned away and then traveling to Bulacan just to be able to bury their departed family member,” he added.

Año said they are currently investigating the incidents in coordination with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

He also said that the NCMF has formed a COVID-19 task force and may be reached through their hotline numbers 0919-7181289 and 0997-5017067 for questions and concerns of Muslim Filipinos nationwide.

Año orders increase of police visibility in hospitals, bring health worker assailant to justice

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 1, 2020

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to increase police visibility in hospitals after a health worker was assaulted in Sultan Kudarat.

“The last thing they need right now is discrimination when all they do is save lives and protect each and every one of us from an enemy we cannot see,” Año said in a statement.

The DILG also strongly condemns the said assault and also called on the PNP to bring the assailants to justice.

“I have directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to make sure that the perpetrators of the assault against the health worker in Sultan Kudarat will face justice at the soonest possible time,” according to Año.

Meanwhile, the DILG Secretary has directed the local government units (LGUs) to provide free transport for the health workers to make sure they are protected. AAC


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