PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed an Executive Order banning the travel of all government officials, from the Executive Branch down to local government officials.
Duterte said the order was part of his administration’s campaign against corruption, but stressed that diplomats, envoys, senators and representatives were exempted.
In his speech during the birthday celebration of House Speaker Pantaleon Alavrez, Duterte warned government officials to avoid junkets, citing the example of Maritime Industry Authority administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro III who had 24 foreign travels—18 last year and six in 2016. All but one was official travel.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque previously said the MARINA chief used government money to pay for his plane tickets.
“That’s why I have this order: one, nobody travels, well, I do not include the Congress and the Judiciary,” Duterte said.
He said he just signed an Executive Order banning travel, saying “You let me know first and I will read, I need to know what you are going for...”The President said traveling abroad would be difficult for government officials.
He directed officials to obtain travel authorization from his or her agency, including 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.
“Local government will enforce it, you have to—be sure to give me well ahead in time your itinerary and give me a synopsis or just a short memo of what you intend to do and what is it all about,” he said.