DILG, UP agree to thoroughly review 1992 pact

Robie de Guzman   •   February 9, 2021   •   289

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) have agreed to undertake a ‘thorough’ review of their 1992 agreement, which requires police to coordinate with the school’s administration before entering UP campuses.

In a joint statement issued on Monday, the DILG, UP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) expressed the parties’ mutual commitment to review the 28-year old deal “to better address peace and security inside UP campuses without curtailing academic freedom and right to free speech and assembly.”

DILG officer-in-charge, Undersecretary Bernardo Florece, Jr. said the meeting with UP officials was a welcome development as both parties have agreed that there is a need to revisit the agreement to update it to present times.

“Our meeting with UP officials led by President Danilo Concepcion and UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo is a good start since both sides agree that both our agencies only have the best interests of the UP community in mind. Kami po sa DILG ay lubhang nagagalak sa development na ito,” Florece said.

The meeting, which was held at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, was attended by Florece, DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya and Asec. Manny Felix, PLtGen Joselito Veracruz, QCPD Director PBGen Danilo Macerin, UP President Concepcion, UP VP Elena Pernia, UPD Chancellor Nemenzo, UPD Vice Chancellor Aleli Bawagan, and Director John Baroña.

“We would like to make it of record that UP is committed to honor and enforce the Accord. If the Accord needs to be updated, we are prepared to sit down with the DILG and PNP to dialogue and to come up with another one that will reflect what is happening on the ground,” UP President Concepcion said during the meeting with DILG and PNP officials.

“Maraming salamat sa DILG at PNP at asahan ninyo ang aming pakikipagtulungan para lahat po ng issues ay ating malapatan ng lunas,” he added.

Florece said the agreement will be reviewed with the assurance that it will not, in any way, diminish basic rights and the freedom of speech and assembly in UP which are Constitutionally protected and enshrined.

“Sa bahagi ng DILG, may mga ilan po tayong mga nakita na maaari nating baguhin sa 1992 Agreement upang lalo pang mapangalagaan ang ating mga Isko at Iska sa UP. Kaya naman kami ay umaasa nang malalimang pakiisa ng UP tungo sa hangaring ito,” he said.

“Ang DILG po ay kakampi ng UP at ng lahat ng unibersidad sa pagpapanatili ng kapayapaan at kaayusan sa loob ng kanilang mga paaralan,” he added.

The creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of representatives of both parties was suggested by the DILG. The TWG will undertake the review of the agreement and recommend whether to simply amend the 1992 agreement or come up with an entirely new agreement.

“UP and DILG have a common purpose which is to the peace and security of all UP campuses. These propositions are not placed to put a wall between us but to unite both our organizations to achieve our common goals,” he said.

The proposed review of the 1992 deal between the DILG and UP comes after the Department of National Defense unilaterally abrogated its 1989 pact with the UP, citing information that the New People’s Army is recruiting students inside UP campuses.

The 1992 UP-DILG agreement was signed by then UP President Jose Abueva and then DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan III after the enactment of Republic Act No. 6975 which effectively transferred the country’s police force from the DND to the DILG.

Since the police was transferred from the DND to the DILG in 1991, both parties signed the UP-DILG Agreement in 1992 with essentially the same contents as the 1989 UP-DND agreement.

Under both agreements, prior notification shall be given by a commander of an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or PNP unit intending to conduct any military or police operations in any of the UP campuses.

They shall not also be allowed to enter the premises of the campuses without coordination with UP administration except in hot pursuit cases and similar occasions of emergency, or in ordinary transit through UP premises.

PNP should not interfere with community pantry, DILG’s Año says

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

 

Community pantry

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday said that police and local government executives should not interfere with community pantries and other similar initiatives organized by private groups.

Año issued the statement following reports that some of the community pantry organizers were being red-tagged and profiled by alleged government authorities.

The DILG chief said police and local government interference should only be limited to ensuring that health protocols are being implemented.

“Since this is a purely voluntary and private initiative, we should not interfere except to ensure that minimum health standards are complied with,” Año said.

“Hence, organizers must adhere to existing laws and local ordinances especially those issued to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he added.

Año also clarified that he did not order the Philippine National Police (PNP) to look into the community pantries around the country.

“The community pantry has been a traditional practice in our country as part of Bayanihan culture and spirit specially in the times of calamities and disasters,” he said.

“In the spirit of Bayanihan, many Filipinos have been doing selfless acts of kindness since last year.

As long as the intention is good and without political color, it should be encouraged and supported,” he added.

As to the issue of whether organizers are required to secure barangay permits, the DILG chief said that organizers should “consult with the concerned barangays if such is required.”

“The PNP and/or local officials may just come in if there is any violation of law, if there are complaints from the community, or if the organizers seek their help,” he said.

“The LGUs, barangays and the PNP are ready to provide utmost assistance to ensure orderly distribution to the public,” he added.

DILG Sec. Año returns to work after more than 3 months in hospital

Marje Pelayo   •   April 16, 2021

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año

 

MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is returning to work on Friday (April 16) after more than three months of hospital care.

In a statement, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the DILG chief already received clearance from his doctors, though it will be on a work-from-home setup until he is fully recovered.

“After more than three months of grueling struggle, including a heart operation, the Secretary is well, in high spirits, and ready to reassume his duties in the Department as well as in the National Task Force COVID-19 and in the IATF-EID,” Malaya said.

“He will start by first working from home and eventually to full normal routine,” he noted.

Malaya expressed gratitude to the public for respecting the DILG Chief’s privacy in the past few months and “for giving him the time to rest, recuperate, and fully recover.’

Aplikasyon para sa higit 4,000 dagdag contact tracers sa Metro Manila, bubuksan sa Abril 16 — DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Sisimulan na sa Biyernes ang pagtanggap ng aplikasyon para sa mga nais magtrabaho bilang contact tracer upang mapaigting ang tracing efforts ng pamahalaan kontra COVID-19.

Ayon sa Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), kabuuang 4,574 na dagdag contact tracers ang balak kunin ng pamahalaan para sa Metro Manila, na itinuturing na epicenter ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

“Simula po bukas, open na yung ating hiring, at ito ay magtatapos hanggang April 22,” ang pahayag ni DILG Undersecretary Bernardo Florece sa isang press briefing ngayong Huwebes.

Aniya, P537 kada araw ang sweldo ng isang contact tracer at tatagal ng tatlong buwan ang kanilang kontrata.

Kabilang sa mga kuwalipikasyon ay high school graduate at prayoridad na kunin ang mga nasa informal working sector na nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa pandemya.

Para sa mga interesadong mag-apply, magsumite ng letter of application, barangay certification, medical certificate at iba pang kinakailangang mga dokumento sa pamamagitan ng electronic mail (e-mail) sa Office of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) ng mga lokal na pamahalaan.

Ayon sa DILG, sa Mayo 1 target na mai-deploy ang mga bagong contact tracer pagkatapos sumailalim sa training. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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