By Argyll Cyrus Geducos, July 7, 2022; Manila Bulletin
In an attempt to simplify the internal management of offices under the Office of the President (OP), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered the abolition of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Malacañang revealed.
Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez signed Executive Order No. 1 by authority of the President on June 30, 2022, the first day of the Marcos Administration. Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles likewise confirmed this on July 7.
In signing the EO, the President said his Administration wants to achieve a comprehensive and meaningful recovery from the current Covid-19 and fiscal crises through a “just allocation of resources.”
The Administration also wanted to achieve this goal through simplified internal management and governance of the Office of the President and its immediate offices and common staff support system.
“In order to achieve simplicity, economy, and efficiency in the bureaucracy without effecting disruptions in internal management and general governance, the Administration shall streamline official processes and procedures by reorganizing the [OP] proper and the various attached agencies and offices by abolishing duplicated and overlapping official functions,’ Marcos wrote in his EO.
The first office affected by this EO was the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC). It was created under the Duterte administration to “directly assist the President in investigating and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and corruption against all presidential appointees.”
In his EO, Marcos said that the PACC exercises jurisdiction, powers, and functions already inherent to the President. He explained that the Philippine President could discipline and remove public officials and employees, except those who are not under his authority.
In line with this, Marcos transferred PACC’s powers and functions to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, who shall make recommendations on matters requiring its actions to the Executive Secretary for approval of the President.
The Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs shall likewise promulgate rules of procedure in administrative cases under its jurisdiction. The cases promulgated by the PACC shall remain in force.
The Executive Secretary will wind up the operations of the PACC. He will also take charge of the disposition of PACC’s functions, positions, personnel, assets, and liabilities.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Cabinet Secretary will also be abolished, and the existing Cabinet Secretariat will now be under the Presidential Management Staff (PMS). Former Manila 3rd District Representative Naida Angping currently leads the PMS.
The Cabinet Secretariat, along with the Executive Secretary, is tasked to assist the President in establishing the agenda topics for Cabinet deliberations or facilitate the discussion of Cabinet meetings.
On the other hand, the Executive Secretary shall supervise and control all agencies and offices under and attached to the OP.
Based on the EO, Personnel affected by the abolition of the two offices may be allowed to avail of the benefits provided under existing laws, if applicable.
Office of the Special Assistant to the President
The Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), another office established under the Duterte administration, shall coordinate with the Executive Secretary in providing staff support to the President.
The OSAP and the PMS shall provide support and assistance to the Executive Secretary in the overall development process management.
Meanwhile, President Marcos’s EO 1 established the Presidential Adviser on Military and Police Affairs. This will be under the OSAP.