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DILG XII prepares turn-over of Magpet town to local officials as their quarantine ends this week

DILG XII RD Josephine Cabrido-Leysa, CESO III is set to turn over the reins of the Municipality of Magpet, Cotabato Province to Vice Mayor Rogelio Maranon this week, ending her week-long stint as the caretaker of the said local government unit.

Vice Mayor Maranon will briefly assume as the OIC Mayor from June 22 to 23. The said official has already completed his 14-day isolation after having been exposed to a Covid-19 positive.

RD Leysa’s role was in compliance to the order signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Ano dated June 15, 2021, as per the guidelines set under DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2019-21, directing her to be the “caretaker of the LGU, in concurrent capacity as the regional director, which shall be effective until such time that the Secretary has designated all the officials or when their leave of absences are over or whichever comes earlier.”

“As a caretaker, my job is limited to the following: to oversee and ensure the delivery of basic services and to approve disbursements involving regularly recurring administrative expenses, such as payrolls, expenses for the light, water, telephone, among other utility and telecommunication services and other rentals. I was able to attend to all of these concerns during the past four days. Of course, I cannot perform the regular duties, responsibilities and functions and powers of the LCE,” RD Leysa clarified earlier.

It can be recalled that all the officials of the municipality had been placed under isolation after they had been identified as close contacts of the two COVID-19 positive LGU officials. Magpet Mayor Florenito T. Gonzaga first tested positive for COVID-19 and tagged one of his office staff, one bodyguard, two drivers, and one Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member as close contacts. The said SB member also tested positive for COVID-19 and it necessitated the isolation of all remaining local officials, based on the existing policies, being close contacts of the former. The Sangguniang Bayan member had also been considered as close contact of three Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office staff.

On June 15, RD Leysa brought with her a team from the Regional Office to ensure that “she will be able to cover a lot of grounds as caretaker of the municipality.” Director Leysa and her group proceeded to Magpet after receipt of the order of the SILG, and immediately convened the LGU’s department heads to discuss matters that needed quick action.

On Monday, June 21, RD Leysa has scheduled to meet up with the department heads and the other employees who showed up for work this week, as part of her plan to reach out to the municipal workforce.

“I firmly believe that it is the best thing to do, to inform our LGU personnel about this ‘unusual situation’ which, I think, is the first case in the Region, if not the whole country. It is also the best time to thank them for their cooperation and support,” RD Leysa said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Gonzaga will start working on June 24, Thursday, after ‘graduating’ from quarantine on June 23. He has been cleared ‘fit to work’ by the MHO and he has not displayed any symptoms for the past three (3) days prior to the date of quarantine completion.

A simple turn-over rites and an exit conference had been set on Thursday at the municipal hall, with RD Leysa formally handing over some documents and guidelines relative to her brief role as the caretaker.

“The past few days has been hectic and productive and I would like to thank all local officials, from the mayor, vice mayor, SB members and employees for the support they have given me and the whole DILG XII,” Director Leysa explained.

Among the major accomplishments of RD Leysa as the caretaker include Technical Assistance in the following areas:

1. Formulation of Local Public Transport Plan;

2. Preparation of Public Service Continuity Plan

3. Safety Seal Certification;

4. Establishment of Electronic Business One Stop Shop (EBOSS);

5. Mandatory use of face mask in public places during pandemic/epidemic, imposing penalties for violators; and

6. Implementation of CCTS, to include the provision of funds, mechanism, guidelines and penalties for violators.

“These are some of the things that we were able to attend to, based on the need during this time of pandemic,” Director Leysa concluded.