Anti-corruption body, 2 other offices abolished

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Marcos wants ‘simple, efficient’ public service

PRESIDENT Marcos Jr. abolished the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, and the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS) as part of a reorganization of the Office of the President and his government’s efforts to provide “simple, economical and efficient” public service amid the current health and fiscal crisis.

The President, in Executive Orders No. 1 and No. 2 issued on June 30, also formally established the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military and Police Affairs, renamed the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) and, abolished the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS).
Copies of EO No. 1 and 2 were uploaded on the Official Gazette yesterday.

EO No. 1 is titled “Reorganizing the Office of the President Including the Immediate Offices and Agencies Under or Attached to It, and the Common Support Staff System; Abolishing the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary,” and EO No. 2, “Reorganizing and Renaming the Presidential Communications Operations Office and Its Attached Agencies Into the Office of the Press Secretary, Abolishing the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, and for other purposes.”

EO No. 1 states that “in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency in the bureaucracy without effective disruptions in internal management and general governance, the administration shall streamline official processes and procedures by reorganizing the Office of the President and the various attached agencies and offices, and by abolishing duplicated and overlapping official functions.”

It said that in light of the current health and fiscal crises, the administration must endeavor to achieve a comprehensive and meaningful recovery through a just allocation of resources and a simplified internal management and governance of the Office of the President and its immediate offices and common staff support system.

It also stated that the President have the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the national government, and may, at his discretion, create, abolish, group, consolidate, merge or integrate entities, agencies, instrumentalities and units of the national government as well as expand, amend, change or otherwise modify their powers , functions and authorities.

SAVINGS

Senators Aquilino Pimentel and Francis Escudero said the abolition of the PACC and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary would help streamline the bureaucracy and free more resources for other pressing problems of the country.

“Streamlining is a good development for me as I am for eliminating duplication of functions, maximizing the time of everyone in government to be as busy and productive as humanly possible,” Pimentel said.

“I hope these lead to some form of savings. Malacañang should announce how much of the people’s money is going to be saved by their reorganization efforts,” he added.
Escudero said the abolition would also enable the Executive branch to save on money.

“Less bureaucracy is always better so we can have more money for projects and programs that directly benefit our people instead of just being spent on salaries and wages of govt officials and employees,” he said.

Under EO 1, the PACC’s jurisdiction, powers and functions are transferred to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (ODESLA).

ODESLA will make recommendations on matters requiring action, to the Executive Secretary for approval, adoption or modification by the President; and promulgate procedures in administrative cases under its jurisdiction.

Rules of procedure in administrative cases promulgated by the PACC will remain in force unless otherwise repealed or amended.

Operations and disposition of functions, positions, personnel, assets and liabilities of PACC will be administered by the Executive Secretary.

PACC was created under Executive Order No. 43 issued by Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte. It was tasked to directly assist the President in investigating and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and corruption against all presidential appointees.

It was also authorized to conduct lifestyle checks and fact-finding inquiries on acts and omissions of all covered presidential employees, inside and outside of the executive branch of the government, which may be violative of the Constitution, or contrary to law, rules and regulations, and/or constitute serious misconduct tantamount to betrayal of public trust.

CABINET SECRETARY

Also abolished under EO 1 was the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.

The Cabinet Secretariat, which was placed under the direct control and supervision of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), will continue to assist the President in the establishment of agenda topics for Cabinet deliberations, or facilitate the discussion of

Cabinet meetings, in coordination with the Executive Secretary.
Personnel affected by the abolition of the PACC and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary may avail themselves of benefits provided under laws.

EO No.1 said the Executive Secretary shall have supervision, control and oversight function over all agencies and offices under and attached to the Office of the President; while the

Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP) and the PMS shall provide support and assistance to the Executive Secretary in the overall management of development processes.

OSAP, PMS and the Presidential Advisers and Assistants shall also provide staff support for the Office of the President.

EO No. 1 also formalizes the creation of an Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military and Police Affairs, which would be under the administration of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President. No information was available as to who would head the office.

In previous administrations, there were separate presidential advisers for military affairs and for police affairs.

Arthur Tabaquero, who holds the rank of undersecretary was the last presidential adviser for military affairs under the Duterte administration but no presidential adviser or police affairs was appointed.

PRESS SEC, PRESS SPOX

The President made true his earlier pronouncement that he would not have a spokesman, and abolished the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson whose functions and permanent personnel and equipment will be transferred to the OPS.

The last acting presidential spokesman was Martin Andanar who was the concurrent PCOO secretary.

The OPS, which was originally the PCOO, is now headed by lawyer-radio anchor-vlogger Trixie Cruz-Angeles as press secretary.

EO 2 also abolishes all “redundant” positions, divisions and units under PCOO as may be determined by the OPS, but retained the APO Production Unit, National Printing Office, Bureau of Broadcast Services, Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation, People’s Television Network Inc., and News and Information Bureau under OPS.

The OPS shall have an assistant secretary and a staff support of not more than 20 persons and eight undersecretaries with corresponding assistant secretaries and staff.
OPS’ functions include pronouncing the President’s policies, programs, official activities, and accomplishments.

The Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) and its personnel, equipment and functions were placed under the supervision and control of PMS, while the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) will be under Office of the President.

The PIA will oversee the Bureau of Communications Services, Freedom of Information-Program Management Office and Good Governance Office. It will be headed by a director general with a rank of undersecretary, and have four deputy director generals with the rank of assistant secretary, and four assistant deputy director generals with salaries and emoluments of a director IV. The PIA shall also continue to have division and regional offices to be headed by a director II.

EO No. 1 takes effect immediately after publication in a national daily while EO No. 2 takes effect immediately. – With Ashzel Hachero


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