Ombudsman Mindanao has a new home after 29 years of renting

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — After 29 years of renting, the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao has finally found at the corner of Libra and Earth streets in GSIS Heights Subdivision.

The Ombudsman Mindanao Office stands stands on a 2,798 square meter behind the Government  Service Insurance System (GSIS) compound along MacArthur Highway, Matina, this city and  just a block away from the Talomo Fire Station.

The old Ombudsman Office

On Tuesday, November 21, the PhP 180, 677, 299.87 building of the Ombudsman Mindanao was inaugurated with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales leading the inauguration together with Undersecretary Jesus Melchor Quitain of the Office of the President, Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and City Administrator Zuleika Lopez, (representing Mayor Sara Duterte).

Morales described the new home “After an intense period of careful planning and faithful implementation of the project, the OMB Mindanao now has a home it can call its own. The Office has finally made the dream come true in building a safe and permanent shelter for the OMB Mindanao.’

The budget was all spent for the the three-storey building, with covered roof deck and the much needed fixtures and office facilities.

(L-R) Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman, Davao City Administrator Zulieka Lopez, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Undersecretary Melchor Quitain (representing President Rodrigo Duterte)-OMB-MIN photo

The building provides bigger space to cater to the growing number of employees and a very convenient to all clients as it is just near the highway  with wide parking area.

Morales said the is not just a workplace for the Ombudsman employees but “most importantly, it is the place where citizens in this part of the country find refuge in the face of government abuse.”

Elman said the space for the old office has become too tight for them “over time, the office space had become inadequate for this growing institution: work stations had become overcrowded, the storage overflowed, and the hallways obstructed, due to the steady stream of requests, complaints and other communications that the Office receives daily.”

When Elman assumed as Deputy Ombudsman in March 2014, the office had a total manpower complement of 78, with only 12 lawyers handling an annual workload of more than 2,000 cases.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales (4th from left) with Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elma (2nd fromt left) and other guests during the inauguration.-Ombudsman photo

More lawyers and investigators were recruited to expedite the investigation of cases.

As of September 2017, its number of personnel has reached 100, with 30 graft investigators and prosecutor officers.

As of October 31, the OMB-MIN reported that it has disposed of 868 cases or 88% of the total number of cases docketed in 2016 and earlier.

In January 2017, OMB-MIN cases had 725 cases docketed from 2014 to 2016 – one from 2014, 155 from 207 and 569 from 2016 – but by October 31, only 86 cases have yet to be disposed.

Elman in his message enphasized “As we gather today for this inauguration ceremony, let us not just marvel at this magnificent edifice where the Ombudsman Mindanao is now housed but also, hopefully, recognize that the more enduring grandeur and legacy lies not in the beauty of the building, but in the people who give life to the structure— their integrity, competence, and passion to do what is right and just. This is the true foundation upon which this building stands.”

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in a message read by City Administrator Zulieka Lopez stressed “May this building inspire you to continue to protect the people of Mindanao against social injustices, and promote efficiency, integrity and accountability in public service,” the mayor said, adding that “as protectors of the people of Mindanao, I trust that you will act promptly on complaints against officers or employees of the government, and enforce their administrative, civil and criminal liability when the evidence warrants in order to promote efficient service by the government to the people. ”

Morales  also reminded OMB-MIN personnel that the greater foundation of the office “lies in the integrity of its people.”

The past deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao

17 May 1996
OMB-MIN transferred to the H&C Building, Alvarez St., its home for 21 years, under the stewardship of DO Margarito P. Gervacio, Jr.
20 June 2006
Under the helm of DO Antonio E. Valenzuela, the OMB-MIN Cagayan de Oro satellite office in Region X was established.
04 December 2006
Former Prosecutor Humphrey T. Monteroso assumed office as the fourth DO for Mindanao.
20 March 2014
The present DO, Rodolfo M. Elman, took his oath of office.

With the new building. Elman said “Now with its ongoing functional restructuring, the number of personnel is expected to increase for the Office to effectively carry out its constitutional mandate as the protector of the people, through its five major functions of Prosecution, Administrative Adjudication, Investigation, Graft Prevention and Public Assistance.”-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

 

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