PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte, through Administrative Order (AO) 15, has authorized the Local Government Secretary or officer-in-charge (OIC) to fill temporary vacancies in several elective offices in a bid to prevent hiatus in and paralysis of local government operations.
Under AO 15, Duterte noted that having vacant positions of elective officials “may disrupt the delivery of basic services and may paralyze local government operations in such areas.”
“To prevent hiatus and paralyzation of local government operations, there is an urgent need to provide rules of the foregoing exigencies,” Duterte's AO inked on December 13 read.
In the absence of a governor, city or municipal mayor, and village chairman due to “physical or legal reasons,” the vice governor, city or municipal vice mayor, or the highest-ranking village council member should automatically wield the powers and perform the duties and functions of the local chief executive concerned, according to AO 15.
For the purpose of succession, ranking in the village council shall be determined on the basis of the proportion of votes obtained by each winning candidate to the total number of registered voters in the immediate preceding local election.
The power to appoint, suspend, or dismiss employees can be exercised, if the period of temporary incapacity of local chief officials to perform duties exceed 30 working
If the vice governor or vice mayor is temporarily incapacitated, the highest-ranking council member will be designated by the President, through the Local Government Secretary or OIC.
Temporary vacancies in the Provincial Board, City Council, Barangay Council will be filled in by the Local Government Secretary or OIC, with the President's authority.
In case of multiple vacancies, AO 15 allows the Local Government Secretary or OIC to make simultaneous appointments or designations.
AO 15 also directed the Local Government Secretary or OIC to issue necessary rules, orders, and circulars as may be necessary for the implementation of the order.
The Local Government Secretary or OIC was also mandated to submit to the President, through the Executive Secretariat, a quarterly report on the implementation of AO 15. (SunStar Philippines)