Local gov't execs warned on late class, work suspensions.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday warned local government officials to be more punctual in suspending classes and work during bad weather conditions or face sanctions.
Interior Officer-in-Charge Secretary Eduardo Ano gave the warning against what he described as 'lazy' local chief executives who make late decisions on whether or not to suspend classes despite earlier advisories from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
He promised there will be repercussions against local government officials after the DILG received numerous feedback and complaints on late suspension of classes when Tropical Depression Henry hit Luzon earlier this month.
'Erring officials who are too lazy to wake up to suspend classes even though PAGASA has declared its warning signals may be charged with gross neglect of duty,' Ano said in a statement.
As chairpersons of their respective local disaster risk reduction and management councils, Ano said local chief executives should be able to make wise and quick decisions based on the actual situation on the ground.
'Local chief executives should always be on top of the situation, especially during typhoons and calamities. They should be actively monitoring the weather condition and the actual situation in their localities, ' he said.
Ano said the issuance of late suspension is detrimental to students and government workers who have to wade through floodwaters just to get home.
'By the time the announcements were made, the students were already in school and had to tread through gutter- and knee- level of unsanitary floodwater to go back home,' he said.
Given the country's vulnerability to storms, Ano said local officials should always be on alert.
'We are putting minors at risk when we delay class suspensions. We must not wait for the floodwater levels to become critical before making the announcements,' he said.