Statement of the DILG on the dismissal of Mayor Cicero Cawaling of Malay, Aklan from office

April 25, 2019

We thank the Ombudsman, Justice Samuel R. Martires, for acting with dispatch on the complaint filed by the DILG against local government officials of Malay, Aklan for the environmental degradation and mismanagement of Boracay Island.

Let this serve as a warning to all local officials that the DILG under the leadership of Secretary Eduardo M. Año will not tolerate abuse and misconduct especially in relation to environmental negligence.

We hope that local officials will not wait for the DILG to file cases against them just like what happened in Boracay, but will take proactive steps to follow the law and protect and preserve the environment in their respective localities.

We urge local government officials to work closely with the DILG, DENR and DOT in protecting the environment in Boracay, Manila Bay Watershed Area, and in other critical areas in the country.

The DILG renews its commitment to the Manila Bay Clean-up, Rehabilitation, and Preservation Program and we will not hesitate to file similar charges against those who refuse to cooperate with government’s efforts to protect Manila Bay, its tributary rivers, and the general environment.

The importance and urgency of caring for our environment is evident and pressing more than ever as our country and the whole globe experience the adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters like the series of earthquakes in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in the past few days.

Local government officials must be in the frontline of protecting and preserving the ecological balance of their respective communities.

Local public officials should serve as local ‘Avengers’ because disaster risk reduction and protecting the ecological health of your localities is our own ‘Infinity War.’

The DILG also urges local government units (LGUs) to meet standards for the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) which includes the criteria on environmental management. Its indicators include the convention of a solid waste management board of an LGU; approved 10-year solid waste management plan; availability of materials recovery facility; access to sanitary landfill as final disposal; and no operating open and/or controlled dumpsite, among others.

Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya
DILG Spokesperson