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Duterte EO hands extensive supervisory powers to 2 aides
Shared/Posted: Jul 05, 2016 at 10:27am
MANILA, Philipines — Two of President Rodrigo Duterte’s closest aides were given extensive supervisory powers in his first executive order (EO) that reorganized the structure of his office.
The order entitled “Reengineering the Office of the President towards greater responsiveness to the attainment of development goals” placed more than a dozen agencies under the supervision of Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go.
Evasco is a former rebel priest and mayor of Maribojoc, Bohol who served as Duterte’s campaign manager. Previous reports said Evasco was considered for the post of Interior secretary but Duterte thought he was not qualified due to his previous links with communists.
Go, meanwhile, is Duterte’s long-time executive assistant. He has worked with Duterte since 1998.
The EO, signed by Duterte last June 30, said the reorganization would eliminate duplication or overlapping of common functions, maximize resources and to coordinate efforts closely.
RELATED: Duterte's first EO: Restructure Office of the President
“Basically, it’s streamlining. I think it’s basically just to streamline so that it’s not repetitive, it’s not redundant,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press conference Monday.
Evasco will have supervision over 12 agencies namely the Cooperative Development Authority, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, National Anti-Poverty Commission, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, National Youth Commission, Office of the President – Presidential Action Center, Philippine Commission on Women, Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority, and two agencies that used to belong the Agriculture department — the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the National Food Authority (NFA).
“These agencies shall primarily evaluate existing poverty reduction programs and, if deemed necessary, formulate a more responsive set of programs complementing existing ones, channeling resources as necessary to reduce both the incidence and magnitude of poverty,” Duterte said in the order.
The agencies would also develop programs and projects designed to reduce poverty and promote “social education” that would allow the people “to participate in effecting real change by keeping watch of the affairs of the government.”
Former Agri agencies included
The NFA and the PCA used to be under the Agriculture department and later moved to the Office of the President on May 5, 2014 via EO No. 165. Then President Benigno Aquino III said the transfer was made due to the "need to enhance and coordinate the efforts” of the agencies in fulfilling their mandates.
The two agencies, along with the National Irrigation Administration and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, were placed under the supervision of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, a position created on the same date EO No. 165 was released.
Aquino ally and former Sen. Francis Pangilinan was appointed to the post.
Last month, then incoming Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he wanted to have control of the four agencies that were transferred to the Office of the President from the Agriculture department.
When asked what he thought was the wisdom behind the placing of NFA and PCA under the Secretary to the Cabinet, Abella said: “I’m just saying it has been placed together, it has been clustered such and I’ll bring it up.”
Presidential events cluster
EO No. 1 was not limited to agencies dealing with poverty and development but also covered those formed to manage the president’s activities.
The Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), the Office of the Appointments Secretary and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) were placed under the oversight of Go.
The order also created the Office of the President - Events Management Cluster “to ensure collaboration among the offices and/or units involved in the preparations for (the) management of presidential engagements.”
The cluster will consist of the PMS, the Presidential Security Group, the Office of the Chief Presidential Protocol, the Media Accreditation and Relations Office and the Radio-Television Malacañang. The OSAP will lead the cluster.
Meanwhile, an error marred Duterte’s first EO as the document cited a wrong provision of the Constitution when it noted that the president has control of the executive branch of the government.
The EO said control of all executive departments, bureaus and offices by the president is provided under Section VII of the 1987 Constitution. The provision, however, is actually contained in Article VII, section 17 of the charter.
When the media pointed out the error, Abella said: “Noted. We will act on that.”
Kindly refer to the origin of this news.
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