City administrator orders revamp of section heads

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

CITY administrator Melchor Quitain said Thursday he will order for a revamp among all the section heads within the Office of the City Building Official (Ocbo) on Friday.

"I just want to be sure that the instructions that we have been given will be implemented not only according to the letter but according to the spirit," Quitain said Thursday.

Although Quitain refused to elaborate on the real issue behind the revamp, he assured that the 72-hour transaction policy set by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been followed and implemented.


He said the engineers would only request for longer period when the project involves a very big construction.

When Duterte assumed post in July last year, he immediately imposed the 72-hour transaction policy in all the offices of the City Government of Davao, especially those seeking permits.

Duterte said the policy was aimed at curbing corruption in different departments.

"Pag-abot sa 72 hours, dili gani nimo i-release sa taong aplikante, you forward the permit to me in this table. Mangutana ko ug ngano niabot ka ug tulo ka adlaw. Sa kadtong mga tao nga nadugay, ayaw namo pag hatag ug kwarta tutal diri man ninyo kuhaon sa akong opisina (When it reaches 72 hours and the permit hasn't been released, give the permit to me and I'll ask you why this reached three days. For businessmen, don't give money anymore as you will get your permit from my office anyway)," Duterte said.

The mayor even singled out the City Building Office, where a lot of application permits are still pending.

"One of the most corrupt at maraming reklamo ang City Building (Office)," he said, adding that he has been receiving a lot of complaints on unprocessed permits.

Aside from the revamp, Quitain will also recommend lawyer Joseph Dominic Felizarta as the acting assistant city building official "to see what is exactly going on inside" the office.

Felizarta is currently assigned at the City Legal Office.

Quitain said Felizarta is a "better equipped" and "worthy" of the position since he is also a civil engineer.

"Before he became a lawyer, he works at the City Engineer's Office. As a lawyer, he knows the dynamics in that office. He will be in the best position to tell me what should be done in that office. Kasi in all projects, you also have to take into consideration the legal aspects of the project," he said.

He said Felizarta will be involved in both engineering and legal aspects.

Quitain is expected to release the memorandum ordering the revamp and appointment of Felizarta today, Friday.

He said he is also set to meet the employees affected by the revamp.

"I want to talk to them and explain why I am taking this step," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 17, 2014.

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