With the assumption of a new set of local government officials yesterday, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) calls on its field officers to be professional and ready “to shepherd and guide” the new set of local officials to enable them to perform their tasks in their localities effectively.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año says that all City and Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (C/MLGOOs) should continuously oversee, capacitate, and mentor the incoming set of local officials until the end of their term in 2022.
“As the new local officials start their term of office, we expect our CLGOOs and MLGOOs to help them settle in at their new tasks and walk with them every step of the way in their journey towards good local governance,” says Año.
Through Circular 2019-09, Año also reminds the Department’s regional directors that should there be a need for reassignment of C/MLGOOs, they should be insulated from political pressures to enable them to perform their capacity building and oversight functions over LGUs without fear or favor.
“Our LGOOs must be exposed to different assignments allowing them to enrich their experiential learnings, and widen their reach to several LGUs during their stint in the Department,” he says.
As a matter of policy, the assignment of C/MLGOOs in one LGU must not exceed four years.
Before the May 13 national and local elections, the DILG reassigned C/MLGOOs to other LGUs to ensure political neutrality and at the same time provide an opportunity for professional development and cross-training.
“The relationship between our field officers and their local officials should remain purely professional. While we want them to work well with the local officials in the LGUs where they are assigned, we do not want them to be overly familiar with their local officials to the point that it would be difficult for them to say no when the need arises,” he says.
“Besides, we do not want them to remain stagnant by being retained in one LGU for a long period of time because that would be depriving them of the opportunity to engage with different communities,” he says.
Año says only those who are about to retire within a period of one year from the issuance of this latest circular, those who are undergoing complex medical treatment, or those with severe medical conditions as certified by a medical doctor, may be exempted from reassignment.
With the issuance of Executive Order No. 70, the DILG Chief says the Department’s field officers are likewise expected to perform their new tasks as convergence facilitator and community organizer to carry on the torch of the DILG for peacebuilding at the local level.
“Our field officers are key in ensuring that the objectives of Executive Order No. 70 which calls for greater participation and involvement of local government units (LGUs) in ending the communist insurgency are achieved,” he says.
EO 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace and creates the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict of which the DILG is one of the pillars.