CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor President Elipe cried foul over the alleged failure of the City Government to establish a local disaster risk reduction management office (LDRRMO) on Tuesday.
Elipe said the Oro Alert has been conducting drills with the Philippine Coast Guard every Sunday using rubber boats in preparation for local emergency response.
This is in response to the recommendations in the 2011 Annual Audit Report (AAR) of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the failure of the City Government in organizing and establishing an LDRRMO, thus violating Section 12 of Republic Act 10121 known as “The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.”
Elipe said he personally witnessed how the local rescue team underwent training and conducted drills every Sunday.
“I always see them conducting drills every Sunday when I go jet skiing,” Elipe said.
According to Elipe, City Hall employees, in coordination with Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), have done silt piling from the end of the Cagayan de Oro River in Macajalar Bay.
“In fairness, the City Hall employees have done something. They have started silt piling from the opening until the Golden Mile of former Mayor Tinnex Jaraula,” Elipe added.
Meanwhile, the AAR of COA noted the actions made by the City Government that are allegedly in compliance with Republic Act (RA) 10121 by the issuance of Mayor Vicente Emano’s Executive Order (EO) 003-2001 on January 7, 2011, renaming the City Disaster Coordinating Council to Cagayan de Oro City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), “with its composition per Executive Order 035-2010 dated September 6, 2010 remaining intact and unchanged.”
Emano also issued EO 050-2011 on June 21, 2011 strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Management System and to streamline the composition of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), and the creation of various committees to assist the CDRRMC in carrying out its duties, functions and responsibilities.
However, though the report found the justifications of the City Government, it still recommends the organization or establishment of a LDRRMO that shall be responsible for setting the direction, development, implementation and coordination of disaster risk management programs in the city.
Emano was accused of negligence and dereliction of duty by complainants Dr. Vincent Tero, Raul Ramon Roa, Celestino Ocio, Teodulfo Lao and Enrico Salcedo of Save CDO Now Movement for defiance of the orders of government agencies which, according to them, resulted in the “unparalleled number of deaths and destruction” brought by Typhoon Sendong in December 2011.
The case was already filed at the regional office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Cagayan de Oro.