By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras
PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has authorized Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año to appoint temporary officers for vacant elective local government posts to avoid crippling operations and the delivery of public services.
“There are instances when, despite the application of the modes of succession under RA (Republic Act) 7160 or for reasons that the same cannot be applied, there remain vacant positions of elective local officials, which vacancies may disrupt the delivery of basic services and may paralyze local government operations in such areas,” states Administrative Order No. 15, signed last Dec. 14 and published on Dec. 19.
The order defines a temporary vacancy as when a “governor, city, or municipal mayor, or punong barangay is temporarily incapacitated to perform his duties for physical or legal reasons.”
The DILG-designated official will have limited powers such being able to appoint, suspend or dismiss employees only if the period of temporary incapacity exceeds 30 working days.
Asked for comment, DILG Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya told BusinessWorld in a phone message that they are currently reviewing the order.
University of Santo Tomas Political Science Department Chairperson Dennis C. Coronacion, meanwhile, cautioned that DILG should “think twice” regarding the order.
“They should think twice because it’s going to scare the public, especially that there are rumors about the President’s plan of setting up a revolutionary government,” Mr. Coronacion said in a phone message to BusinessWorld.
He added, “The appointment of those officials can be questioned by their constituents. They might suffer from lack of legitimacy.”