BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Incoming City Legal Officer Atty. Romeo Carlos Ting, said they will look into Executive Order issued by outgoing Mayor Evelio ‘Bing’ Leonardia making the Emergency Operations Center separate and independent from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).
The lawyer told DNX the commission will review if Leonardia’s mandate violated a law or not.
Dr. Anna Maria Laarni Pornan, the head of the city’s DRRMO, had earlier told DNX that the Emergency Operations Center is supposed to be under her office as mandated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and its office for Western Visayas.
Pornan gave the statement after incoming Mayor Albee Benitez said the EOC will become a part of the DRRMO due to its lessened activities and operations with low COVID-19 cases.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) being the EOC’s implementing arm – the center would be activated if there is a calamity or a disaster, and if there is no event that could possibly harm civilians, it would be deactivated.
The city is now under Alert Level 1 with low number of cases being reported daily, while the EOC only conducts meetings once to twice a week, and will organize an emergency conference once there is a surge in cases.
Pornan said clusters a part of EOC would only report on Friday due to the present situation with COVID-19.