MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has officially tapped Eduardo del Rosario to replace Benito Ramos, the media-savvy head of the Office of Civil Defense and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
The President designated Del Rosario as acting administrator of OCD last Friday, the same day that Ramos’ resignation became effective.
Ramos, who as OCD administrator and NDRRMC executive director presided over emergency meetings and faced the press in times of disasters, resigned to attend to his diabetes-stricken wife.
In mid-January, Ramos briefed Del Rosario, who was recommended by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to next head the OCD, in what they described as an “orientation’’ at the OCD headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
But that time, Del Rosario, who led the search and rescue for the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo after his plane crashed in Masbate waters in August last year, acknowledged that he had “big shoes’’ to fill.
“If I could only give 50 percent of his brilliance, eloquence and great sense of humor, then I think I’d already have a passing grade,” Del Rosario said then.
Meanwhile, the President has filled up the vacant post of the Armed Forces’ Vice Chief of Staff with another member of the Philippine Military Class 1981: Lt. Gen Alan Luga.
Luga was designated Vice Chief of Staff last Friday, and would take over from Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes who had been named commanding general of the Philippine Army.
Like AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, Luga is a member of the PMA “Dimalupig’’ Class of 1981.
The President presided over the turnover of commands at the AFP and the Army in recent weeks.