MORE than 6,000 presidential appointees got the boot after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered them to vacate their offices because government corruption persists.
A memorandum circular released Monday night will cover all 6,000 officials, including those appointed by Duterte, and holdovers from the Aquino administration that had earlier been asked to stay on the job beyond July 31.
Memorandum Circular No. 4 ordered all presidential appointees to tender their unqualified courtesy resignations within seven calendar days and “in view of the President’s desire to rid the bureaucracy of corruption ...to give him a free hand in achieving this objective.”
• Newly appointed Cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries, and assistant secretaries in their respective departments, including presidential advisers or assistants with the equivalent rank;
• Other officials in the executive department, including state universities and colleges, and government-owned and -controled corporations who are appointed by the President;
• Career officials as defined by the Civil Service Laws, rules and regulations;
• Officials whose offices are created by virtue of the Constitution (e.g. constitutional commissions, the Ombudsman); and
• Those whose appointments are currently being processed or who may be appointed by the President.
The same memorandum circular said that in the event that the President accepts the resignation of the head of an agency or GOCC, his or her deputy or others next-in-rank will act as officer-in-charge of the agency until a replacement is duly appointed by the President.
Any presidential appointee who fails to tender his or her courtesy resignation may be held administratively liable and meted the appropriate penalty.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said that among those appointed by the President, only the chiefs of the Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, need to vacate their office if prompted by the President.
In a press briefing in Davao early Sunday morning, Duterte said he would declare all positions in the government vacant due to reports of continuing corruption in several government agencies.
Duterte singled out the LTO and the LTFRB as among the agencies riddled with corruption.
Duterte said he has the power to dismiss appointed public officials for their failing to deliver on their mandate.
Andanar said that even the heads of the government-owned and -controlled corporations would have to leave their post, except those with fixed terms, and members of constitutional bodies.
Also on Monday, the Bureau of Customs said it has concluded its investigation into an employee who allegedly accepted P220 million in monthly bribes.
“We have also have a strong case against one of our employees, the name is Customs Police Capt. Arnel Baylosis…. I’ve already forwarded the case folder of this employee to the Department of Justice for investigation,” said Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
“Four individuals who had direct transactions with him testified through affidavits that previously, since 2012, they had been giving bribe[s]. It’s called in the Customs ‘tara,’ amounting to at least P100 million to P220 million monthly,” said Faeldon.
“We are continuously isolating and tracking all the bureau officials that are believed to be very corrupt,” he said.
In our effort to make the bureau more transparent to the public Faeldon also announced that the Office of the Commissioner and other ports under the supervision of the BoC can be viewed online starting next week.
“We have set up, right now… The setting up of CCTV cameras in all the frontline offices of the Bureau of Customs has been ongoing. We expect that in the next 30 more days, the big ports in Manila can now be viewed publicly.
“My office is the first one. So that no employee will refuse the setting up of the CCTVS,” he said.
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