DILG searches for 4th undersecretary to replace Puno

Natashya Gutierrez

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In addition to two new undersecretaries, the Department of the Interior and Local Government is searching for its fourth to replace former DILG USec of Peace and Order Rico Puno


MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is searching for its fourth undersecretary.

A day after Rappler reported that two new undersecretaries are poised to join Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas at the DILG, Roxas told reporters on Monday, October 22, that they are looking for a fourth undersecretary to take care of public safety.

Under the law or Republic Act 6975 on the reorganization of the DILG, the department is only allowed two undersecretaries — one for peace and order and another for local government. The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who died in a plane crash on August 18, had two undersecretaries (Rico Puno and Austere Panadero).

While former Cebu City administrator Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez and Department of Transportation and Communications Undersecretary for operations Rafael “Paeng” Santos are set to join Roxas in the DILG, Roxas said they are still finalizing the shortlist to submit to President Benigno Aquino III for yet another undersecretary — the post left by resigned DILG Undersecretary for Peace and Order Puno.

Puno left his post last month after being asked to resign by Aquino. The position requires the handling of the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

His replacement will be the fourth undersecretary in addition to Fernandez, Santos, and current DILG Undersecretary for local government Panadero.

Fernandez will be in charge of informal settlers, persons with disability and other sectoral concerns, while Santos will handle the department’s administrative, legal, finance and special concerns.

New DILG program

In addition to Santos’ roles, he is also tasked with heading a new initiative by Roxas at the DILG, called “bottom-up budgeting.”

Roxas announced the creation of a new program, “bottom-up budgeting,” that will allow local government units (LGUs) to share their thoughts and to participate in the drafting of the national budget.

Under the program, Roxas said LGUs will be able to help shape the budget according to their needs.

Manggagaling sa mga LGU ang kanilang pangangailangan. Sila ang magsasabi kung ano talaga ang hugis ng mga programa na kekelanganin nila. Bubuuin ito, icoconsolidate ito at ipapasa ito sa ating mga national government agencies,” Roxas said.

(The LGUs themselves will talk about their own needs. They will be the ones who will dictate the programs they need. They will be formed, consolidated, then passed on to national government agencies).

Through bottom-up budgeting, Roxas said LGUs will no longer be forced to accept programs pre-planned for them even if they don’t need it — because this time, they will have a say in the programs supported by the national budget.

So kung ano ang pangangailangan nila sa classroom, anong pangangailangan nila sa agrarian reforms, sa agriculture, sa education, etc, tutulong ang DILG sa kanila para kung ano man ang programa ng national government, ng national government agency, ay angkop o shoot duon sa pangangailangan ng local,” he added.

(So whatever their needs are in the classroom, for agrarian reforms, in agriculture, in education, etc, the DILG will help them so that whatever the national government’s program may be, it is applicable to their local needs).

The new program is expected to take effect in 2014. – Rappler.com

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