DILG pledges support to Green Climate Fund projects

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 19, 2019   •   186

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has pledged its support to the country’s first Green Climate Fund (GCF) project.

According to the DILG, the GCF aims to establish multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and early warning system (MH-IBF-EWS) in the local government units (LGUs).

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said this aims to translate hazard forecasts into warnings which will provide the location and specific impacts directly to the LGUs and communities on the ground.

“Climate change has been a global issue that we can’t just take for granted. We must acknowledge it and fortify our country with safety measures like the MH-IBF-EWS. As one of the most vulnerable countries that can fall victim to climate change, we should be proactive in developing counter-measures,” he said.

Año said areas including Tuguegarao City, Legazpi City, the town of Palo in Leyte, and New Bataan in Davao de Oro will be the target local government units (LGUs) of the GCF project.

The said project has been approved by the Green Climate Fund Board during its recent meeting in Songdo, Korea and is worth $10 million.—AAC

DILG supports DND recommendation to lift martial law in Mindanao

Robie de Guzman   •   December 5, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Armed Forces of the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday expressed support for the recommendation of the Department of National Defense (DND) not to extend the declaration of martial law in Mindanao after it expires on December 31 this year.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said his agency concurs with the DND’s view that “the purpose of Martial Law has been attained based on the assessment of military and police forces.”

The DILG chief also said that “normalcy has returned to the entire region and the peace and order situation in the area has remarkably improved since the Marawi Siege of 2017.”

“In the last two years and eight months that Martial Law is in effect in Mindanao, our military and police forces in the region have significantly degraded the forces and capabilities of the Maute and other threat groups that they no longer have any capacity to launch a Marawi-type attack,” he said in a statement.

“Moreover, three guerilla fronts have been cleared and three Pulang Bagani commands of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) have been dismantled,” he added.

The DILG chief also stated that the lifting of martial law will be beneficial to the country’s economy, bringing with it more local and foreign investments and increase tourist arrivals in the region.

“We also believe that the lifting of Martial Law will be advantageous to the economy as it will signal the full return to normalcy and the end to perceived security risks of investing and travelling to Mindanao,” he said.

Mindanao has been under martial law since 2017 after Maute Terror group attacked Marawi City.

The martial law was initially set for 60 days but it was extended until the end of 2017, then until the end of 2018 and to the end of 2019.

Año further noted that local government units, through their respective local peace and order councils from the regional down to the barangay level, are also now more engaged and are actively working with their counterparts in the security sector to carry out peace and security measures in Mindanao.

“In fact, there is a 30% drop in crime in the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) alone,” he said.

Año also assured the public that even without martial law, the police and military will continue to launch security operations to protect the public against possible threat from extremists and communist rebels.

DILG tells PNP to arrest vandals

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to go after all the vandals in the country for their “utter disregard of the law and defacement of government properties.”

Año issued the order following the arrest of four members of a left-leaning art group, Panday Sining, for vandalizing places in the city of Manila.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief called the arrest of the four activists “just and lawful.”

“Nagsusumikap ang gobyerno na magkaroon ng kaayusan at kalinisan pero binababoy nila. They have been repeatedly warned and now they will face the consequences of their actions,” he said in a statement.

In November, Manila City mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso warned the group that he would make them wipe their spray-painted messages with their tongue if he happens to catch them committing vandalism.

The group earned Mayor Isko’s ire after they spray-painted messages on the newly-painted walls of Lagusnilad underpass and UN Avenue.

But instead of heeding the government’s warning, Año pointed out that the group defied authorities and went on with their protest in different places in Manila.

The DILG chief said members of the group spray-painted messages on a telecom box near the Manila City hall, the walls of Araullo High School in Manila, and a concrete post of LRT-2 in Recto Avenue, among others.

“Imbes na tumigil, tuloy pa rin sila sa pagsasalaula nila sa kapaligiran. Hindi na sila nakikinig sa awtoridad. Sobra na. Tama na. Tama lang na maturuan sila ng leksyon para magtanda,” he said.

On Nov. 30, Saturday, four members of Panday Sining, namely, Joven Laura, Jeanne Vaughn Quijano, Mikhail Collado, and another minor, were arrested by the police after they were caught painting on the walls of LRT-2 during protest rallies marking Bonifacio Day.

Vandalism is a prohibited act in the City of Manila under Ordinance No. 7971 which imposes penalties on any person who defaces public and private property.

Panday Sining has called for the release of their members, and accused the police of manhandling their activists.

Año stressed that that while the government “respects their groups’ freedom of expression, such freedom is bounded by rules and regulations in order to ensure law and order.”

“Huwag ninyo namang gawing malaking drawing board o canvas ang Metro Manila. Maraming paraan para ipahayag ang inyong saloobin at hindi kasama doon ang walang habas ninyong pagpipinta sa mga pader ng Maynila,” he said.

The DILG chief also lamented that the arrested Panday Sining members are young people who are supposed to be focusing their time studying and making their parents proud.

“Huwag kayong magpaloko sa mga organisasyong makakaliwa at huwag ninyong sirain ang kinabukasan ninyo sa mga walang kuwentang gawain. Magsipagtapos kayo sa pag-aaral ninyo at tumulong kayo sa pamilya at bansa,”he said.

DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also said that the public is likewise “outraged” by the group’s recent actions as evidenced by negative comments on social media and an online petition initiated by a non-governmental group.

“Even the people are fed up with your antics. Mag-isip-isip na kayo at magbago na habang bata pa kayo. Disiplina muna bago po tayo magreklamo at magprotesta. Ang pagbabago’y nagsisimula sa sarili,”he said.

DILG tells mayors: Suspend classes only during SEA Games events in their areas

Robie de Guzman   •   November 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday urged local government units to only suspend classes if Southeast Asian (SEA) Games events would affect their areas.

DILG made the pronouncement after President Rodrigo Duterte declined proposals to suspend classes in all schools in Metro Manila and nearby regions during the country’s hosting of the 30th SEA Games.

“Guided by President Duterte’s decision not to suspend classes in all schools in Metro Manila and nearby regions, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is instead recommending the suspension of classes in at least 20 public and private schools, colleges, and universities in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Southern Luzon on December 2 to 6 to give way to the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games,” the DILG said in a statement.

According to DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, such recommendation is provided under DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-198, which was issued by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año upon the request of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) to ease traffic flow during the regional sports competition of the biennial meet.

Siguradong libo-libong tao at sasakyan ang dadagsa sa mga lugar na pagdadausan ng SEA Games para saksihan ang tagisan ng galing sa larangan ng sports,” Malaya was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Dahil dito, nagpalabas ng Memorandum si Seretary Año sa mga mayor sa mga naturang lugar na suspendihin o kanselahin ang mga klase sa piling mga paaralan at unibersidad para kahit paano ay maibsan ang traffic at para na rin sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan,”he added.

Based on the memo, the following schools and areas are recommended to suspend classes from Dec. 2 to 6 :

Metro Manila – St. Paul College-Pasig, Poveda, De La Salle University, De La Salle College of St. Benilde, St. Scholastica’s College-Manila, Arellano University School of Law-Manila, and Wesleyan College-Manila;

Southern Luzon Cluster – Tagaytay Science National High School, City College of Tagaytay, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School, Blessed Christian School de Santa Rosa, U.P. Los Baños, Christian School International, and San Antonio Elementary School;

Subic Cluster – Lyceum of Subic Bay Palm Tree, WOW Recreation and Activity Center, Mondriam Aura College, and College of Subic Bay Montessori-Subic Bay;

Clark Cluster – Systems Plus College Foundation and Angeles University Foundation.

Malaya said mayors of these areas may extend the class suspension should they see the need to do so.

“The DepEd or school authorities may also declare class suspensions on their own authority if they wish to do so,” he said. “We have provided the Mayors with the competition schedules which will serve as their basis on determining the dates of the class suspension in these select schools.”

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