BEFORE it downgrades the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) into a division, the Capitol may have to take into consideration the number of typhoons, among others, that enter the country every year.
So said ex-officio Provincial Board (PB) Member Celestino Martinez III, as he stressed the need to take precautionary steps before a calamity or untoward incident happens.
“I’m not a fortune teller, but every year, our country experiences an average of 25 typhoons, 20 of which already even have names. The most typhoon-prone areas, which have been identified by Pagasa, are Visayas and Luzon,” Martinez said.
“Are we prepared to downgrade this department, specifically, amidst the fact that August, September, October, November and December are the months that we will experience heavy downpours, typhoons, possibly landslides? I really want to caution the body about this because it is not foreign to us from experiencing these kinds of events, aside from fire. I really hope that we can take this into consideration,” Martinez said.
Martinez raised his concerns on Aug. 13, 2019, during the second deliberation of a proposed ordinance downgrading four departments, including the disaster office, into divisions under the governor’s office.
Filed by PB Members Edsel Galeos (2nd district), John Ismael Borgonia (3rd district), Andrei Duterte (5th district), Thadeo Jovito Ouano and Glenn Anthony Soco (6th district), the draft legislation seeks to “rationalize and improve public service delivery by the reorganization of the offices of the executive branch of the Provincial Government.”
Aside from the PDRRMO, also affected by the possible downgrade are the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (Cpadao), Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) and the Cebu Provincial Investment and Promotions Office (CPIPO).
“This reorganization is directed to streamline the offices without sacrificing the quality of service. The governor (Gwendolyn Garcia) has some plans and it is her prerogative to ensure that the quality of service will not be compromised,” Galeos said.
If approved on third and final reading, the ordinance will downsize the working force in these departments to only 31 from a total of 166.
It will leave PDRRMO with 10 plantilla positions instead of 37, while Cpadao, PTO and CPIPO will each have seven regular positions available.
At present, there are 49 regular positions in Cpadao, while the PTO and CPIPO each have 30 and 50 slots, respectively.
Earlier, the governor said the Province would likely have an annual savings of P186 million for salaries if it downgraded the four departments into divisions.
Martinez, who authored the ordinance creating the PDRRMO in 2015, said the office was “born out from our experience during typhoon Yolanda.”
In 2013, super typhoon devastated majority of the towns in the third, fourth and fifth districts, he added.
After the 40-minute discussion, the proposed ordinance was approved on second reading by the PB with Martinez abstaining from voting. (RTF)