Tagbilaran City Relief Operations
October 25, 2013, Friday – The 12th Sannguniang Panlungsod conducted its regular session in JJ’s Seafood and invited the heads of different departments. The SP presiding officer Vice-Mayor Jose Antonio “Toto” S. Veloso and the whole council took the opportunity to get updates regarding the City’s Relief Operations from City Administrator Leonides “Edi” Borja.
Despite having experienced the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October 15, 2013, the City was able to sustain minor damages as compared to the neighboring towns of Antequera, Maribojoc, Loon, Sagbayan, Inabanga and Calape which were heavily damaged. Although the City Hall Complex was declared not fit for use, the City has managed to continue its operations albeit the lack of a more conducive working area. The City under the Yap-Veloso administration had taken foremost consideration to the needs of its people and immediately attended to those areas in Tagbilaran City which were greatly affected by the quake. Relief operations have started since October 15 and packs have been given mostly to the coastal areas of Manga and Taloto and the City has also set aside a portion of the relief packs to other municipalities To date, the City has given relief packs to Loon, Calape, Maribojoc , Sagbayan and Inabanga. An estimated 2,500 packs have already been given to Inabanga, Loon and Sagbayan last October 24,2013. Another 2,000 relief packs will be given to other barangays, and 1,160 packs will be given to Pangangan Island, Calape today.
True to the adage that, “It is better to give than to receive” the City Government has extended its helping hand to other municipalities even if the city itself has experienced damages of its own because of the quake. The City is also thankful that many generous and kind-hearted individuals and corporations have joined The City’s efforts in providing goods. Among the many donors and sponsors are Mister Donut, Alturas Group of Companies, Philippine Red Cross Bohol Chapter, CFI Cebu Cooperative, GMA 7, Globe Telecom, M Lhuillier, Bohol Light Corporation and Bohol Water Utilities Incorporated.
Updates on the City Hall Complex
During the Sangguniang Panlungsod session conducted yesterday October 25, 2013, one of the main concerns raised is the lack of the working area for the City Hall employees especially the Sangguniang Panlungsod personne. Currently, city hall employees are situated in the adjacent Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center or APC building. Different offices have been lodged in the said building leaving cramped office spaces which are not exactly ideal for working. Hence, the Sangguniang Panlungsod wanted to be informed what are the plans regarding the restoration of the City Hall Complex and the current plans with regards to the current situation of the employees. The City Administrator Leonides “Edi” Borja and City Engineer Piancita Castolo have graced the said session and provided the needed information.
City Administrator Edi Borja is working on the resolution passed during the previous session requesting the APC management to vacate the building so that City Hall employees can have ample working space. Borja also informed the body that he and his team are negotiating with the APC management to have the L-shaped side of the said building where the canteen is located so that other City Hall Offices can transfer and set up properly. They are also looking into the possibility of salvaging other materials in the City Hall Complex which can be utilized in creating make shift offices in the APC bulding.
Engr. Castolo on the other hand provided information on the status of the City Hall Complex. She and a couple of structural engineers from Manila have conducted an in depth inspection of various buildings in the city including the City Hall Complex. Although they have declared the City Hall Complex not suitable for occupancy as of the moment, they have however stated that the columns supporting the City hall are in no danger of collapsing. Hence, there is a possibility that the city can still repair and utilize the building. Engr. Castolo said that major repairs are needed on the third floor of the building, its ceilings, walls and the elevator. Additional beams are also needed to ensure stability of the building’s structures. An estimated amount of P60M will be needed for the repairs of the said building. The plan for the repairs is already in process and it is hoped that after a month of the quake, clean-up can already be started so that the actual repairs can commence. Engr. Castolo also informed the body that having a newly constructed building would be much easier as compared to doing the repairs. The council therefore requested Engr. Castolo to prepare a study and analysis on what is the best alternative whether to repair or build a new building. Engr. Castolo will present the results of her study after 45 days so that the body can decide whether to proceed with the repairs or have a new building instead.
The Yap-Veloso administration is now faced with the daunting task to rebuild its City Hall complex and to rebuild the City. But it is in these times of great adversities that true leaders emerge. Even when the City Hall Complex has fallen, the service to the Tagbilaranons will never stop.
Special Emergency Leave to Government Employees Affected by Natural Calamities/ Disasters
In line with the recent calamity suffered by Boholanos, the City of Tagbilaran government has circulated to its employees last Thursday October 24, 2013 the resolution issued by the Civil Service Commission granting a five-day special emergency leave for government employees directly affected by natural calamities or disasters.
The CSC Resolution No. 1200289 issued on February 8, state workers in officially-declared calamity areas may avail of the special emergency leave for five straight working days or on staggered basis. Said special leave is separate and will not be deducted from the employee’s leave credits, and may be availed of within 30 days from the first day of calamity declaration by proper government authorities. The purpose of the leave may be any of the following: for urgent repair and clean-up of damaged house, being stranded in affected areas, disease/illness of employees brought by natural calamity/disaster, caring of immediate family member affected by natural calamity/disaster.
A natural calamity or disaster may include “earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruption and landslide that have profound environmental effect and/or human loss and frequently cause financial loss”.
The CSC policy orders heads of offices to take full responsibility in granting special emergency leave and in verifying the employee’s eligibility to avail of such.