DILG advises LGUs to do early disaster preparedness actions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 6, 2019   •   641

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has advised local government units (LGU) to do early disaster preparedness actions.

DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said it is better to have preparations now instead of waiting for the eleventh hour before taking action.

“Sunod-sunod na naman ang mga bagyo pumapasok sa ating bansa kaya inaatasan natin ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na maging laging handa. Huwag na nating hintayin ang unos bago tayo kumilos, (Several typhoons are entering the country so we directed local government units to always be prepared. Let us not wait for the disaster to hit before taking action)” he said.

The DILG previously launched Operation L!STO which is a national advocacy program for disaster preparedness and disaster risk management at the local level.

Malaya said because of this manual, there is no reason for LGUs not to know the protocols during a disaster.

“The DILG has given all LGUs the Listo Manual to guide them on the sets of minimum critical ‘things-to-do’ during an impending weather disturbance or tropical cyclone,” he said.

The Listo Manual v.3 contains a preparedness checklist and also provides authority to LCEs to undertake pre-emptive or mandatory evacuation when necessary.—AAC

DILG warns LGUs, public against individuals posing as DILG officials

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 21, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned the public and local government units (LGUs) against individuals posing as DILG officials.

In a statement, the department said these “impostors” are soliciting favors or extorting money from LGUs. DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said they have been receiving numerous reports from local chief executives about receiving calls or texts from said ‘DILG impostors’ offering to send aid but will ask for funds in the end.

“In one instance, the mayor was told that the DILG will donate 2,800 cavans of rice to his constituents but in return, the mayor has to send P20,000 via money remittance allegedly for transportation costs,” he said. “In another instance, the mayor was told that he will be helped in his pending cases provided that funds will be transferred to an account of their choosing,” he added.

Malaya advised to always check and consult their provincial DILG office to confirm the identities of those contacting them. He also said they have alerted the Philippine National Police-Criminal Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in hopes of apprehending the impostors.

“This is a clear case of estafa punishable under the Revised Penal Code, thus we have requested the Philippine National Police to track down those persons responsible,“ he said. AAC

DILG lauds police move for online reporting of quarantine violators

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday commended the move of police Joint Task Force Coronavirus (JTF COVID) Shield to monitor and urge the public to report violations of quarantine protocols through its social media accounts.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the move “encourages citizen through social medial platforms” and “appeals to all civic-minded young people who are concerned about the health and welfare of all Filipinos.”

“Now that we have flattened the COVID-19 curve, all the more should we be more careful and vigilant so as to contain and further reduce the active cases. Habang hinihintay natin ang pagdating ng bakuna, mas lalo nating pag-ibayuhin ang pag-iingat and enforcement of minimum health standards,” Año said.

The PNP’s JTF COVID Shield earlier ordered all police stations and units to monitor social media platforms for possible quarantine violations.

JTF COVID Shield Commander Gen. Guillermo Eleazar also called on the public to tag the task force’s Facebook page when they see photos and reports online of quarantine violations.

Among the most common quarantine violations flaunted on social media are mass gathering and celebrations, drinking session, non-observance of physical distancing, non-wearing of face masks, and pillion riding on motorcycles of unauthorized individuals.

Some groups have claimed that the measure will violate the right to privacy of people but the DILG belied this, stressing that there is no violation when it is the individual himself that posted it online.

“We cannot afford protection to persons if they themselves did nothing to place the matter within the confines of their private zone,” DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

Citing the Supreme Court ruling in Vivares vs St Theresa’s College wherein some students who posted nearly nude photos on social media were not allowed to join their batch’s graduation ceremony, Malaya said that there is no violation of the right to privacy when it is the person himself who posted the material online.

“However, there is a big difference between spying or hacking the social media of persons to build a case against him or her as against using his/her social media posts as evidence when s/he has already committed a violation. May violation ka na nga, pinangalandakan mo pa sa social media,” he added.

Malaya advised netizens to be cautious, maintain their privacy, and to exercise sound discretion regarding how much personal information they are willing to show on their social media pages.

“Netizens ought to be aware that, by entering or uploading any kind of data or information online, they are automatically and inevitably making it permanently available online, the perpetuation of which is outside the ambit of their control,” he said.

“Since these are public posts, the PNP has every right to make social media posts as a basis to begin an investigation if warranted,” he added.

Malaya also emphasized hat unscrupulous and ill-intentioned hackers may infiltrate their pages and steal information that they might use in any way they want.

DILG begins hiring of 50,000 contact tracers

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday announced it is set to start the process of hiring and training of at least 50,000 contact tracers to ramp up the country’s contact tracing program.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the hiring of contact tracers will start this week and will be conducted nationwide.

“The DILG is looking for dedicated and patriotic individuals who want to join the fight against COVID-19. If you want to take an active part in defeating the pandemic, join the DILG Contact Tracing Teams!” he said.

The move comes after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 Law, which seeks to provide funds for the procurement of additional COVID-19 testing equipment as well as the implementation of assistance programs for displaced workers, low-income households and other sectors.

The stimulus package consists of P140 billion worth of regular appropriations and a standby fund of P25.5 billion to help sectors and industries heavily-hit by the pandemic.

Año said successful applicants will receive a minimum of P18,784 per month in a contract of service status. Their responsibilities include interviews, profiling, and perform an initial public health risk assessment of COVID-19 cases and their identified close contacts.

They will also refer the close contacts to isolation facilities; conduct enhanced contact tracing in collaboration with other agencies and private sectors; conduct daily monitoring of close and general contacts for at least 14 days, and perform such other tasks in relation to the COVID response.

To qualify, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree or college level in an allied medical course or criminology course.

They must also be skilled in data gathering and have assisted in research and documentation; able to interview COVID-19 cases and close contacts in order to gather data; possess the ability to advocate public health education messages, and have the investigative capability.

“It is crucial that a candidate must be willing to do research and investigation because that is the very essence of the job. Iyon ang hinahanap natin, isang tao na magsasaliksik ng mga posibleng kaso ng COVID sa komunidad,” Año said.

Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent, Personal Data Sheet, National Bureau of Investigation Clearance, and drug test results.

Interested individuals should submit their application and documents to all DILG Provincial and City Field Offices nationwide or visit their websites for the posting of vacancies.

The DILG chief said local contractual workers and overseas Filipino workers whose employment were disrupted or were recently terminated may be given priority in the hiring process.

Año said hired applicants will be assigned to various contact tracing teams (CTTs) of the local government units, especially in areas that are considered hot spots for coronavirus disease.

“Mas maraming naitatalang kaso, doon maglalagay ng mas maraming bagong contact tracer. A huge number of these new contact tracers will operate and work in all the regions of the country with National Capital Region having the biggest number,” the DILG chief said.

There are currently 97,400 contact tracers nationwide and the additional contact tracers will allow the country to reach the target of 150,000 contact tracers, he said.

“With the additional 50,000 contact tracers, we will now be able to meet (Baguio City Mayor and contact tracing czar Benjamis) Magalong formula of tracing 37 close contacts of 1 COVID patient up to the 3rd degree,” he added.

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