President Rodrigo Duterte MALACANANG PHOTO
As part of his administration’s campaign against corruption, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order banning the travel of officials in the executive department.
“I just signed an Executive Order banning travel. You let me know first and I will read, I need to know what you are going for,” Duterte said on Friday in a speech during the birthday celebration of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in Tagum City.
The President said he wants the itinerary submitted ahead of time as well as the synopsis or a short memo on the objective of the travel.
“It’s part of the campaign against corruption. Not only done with malice but those who just want to spend money of government for nothing,” Duterte said.
“They go out every convocation, convention, powwow, seminar, labas nang labas (just fond of going out). And for those who have traveled more than 12, you have to go. Hindi na ako bilib diyan sa most of the time nag-ibang bansa,” he added.
(I am not impressed with people who are out of the country most of the time.)
Malacañang has yet to release the public a copy of the newly signed EO against government officials’ junkets.
On January 3, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum specifying the guidelines on foreign travels of all government officials and personnel in the executive department.
READ: Palace issues guidelines for gov’t officials’ trips abroad
Medialdea said that official foreign travel should only be allowed if the trip is “strictly within the mandate” of the official; projected trip expenses “are not expensive,” and the travel is “expected to bring substantial benefit” to the country.
It also directs officials to obtain travel authorization from his or her agency, including his/her personal travels, even if at no cost to the government.
The memo instructs agency heads and those in charge of approving travels abroad to submit quarterly a list to the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Department of the Interior and Local Government about all travel authorities they have issued.
Duterte has sacked several government officials for their numerous trips abroad, including Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Marcial Amaro III, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor chief Terry Ridon, Dangerous Drugs Board head Dionisio Santiago, and Development Academy of the Philippines President Elba Cruz. /jpv
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