President Rodrigo Duterte has banned the travel junkets and team-building activities of all government officials and employees abroad, according to an executive order signed by him.
Malacañang said Duterte signed Executive Order 77 on March 15, and that it updates the rules and regulations and rates and allowances for the official local and foreign trips of government personnel.
“All forms of travel junkets shall be strictly prohibited. The conduct of strategic planning workshops or team-building activities abroad shall not be allowed,” Section 19 of the EO says.
Malacañang said the President had repeatedly expressed his disappointment over the unnecessary and expensive foreign trips by some government officials.
“The taking of a personal leave immediately before or after the official activity is highly discouraged,” the EO says.
“If travel circumstances, such as the nature of activity, purpose, and itinerary, indicate that the trip is mainly intended for personal purposes,” the EO says, “no part thereof shall be considered official.”
Covered by the order, which is effectively immediately, are the personnel of national government agencies including state universities and colleges, government-owned- or -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, Congress, the judiciary, the constitutional commissions, the Office of the Ombudsman and local government units.
Duterte says only certain officials are allowed to take business class for air travel and only for long-haul flights.
Those allowed to take business class flights are department secretaries, undersecretaries, and assistant secretaries, but these officials still need the approval of the Office of the President.
All government employees taking long-haul flights will have to take the economy class.
For flights less than four hours, all government employees, including Cabinet secretaries, will have to take the economy class, which “does not include premium economy class.”
In case the officials and employees authorized to travel abroad will not be provided with transportation by the host country or sponsoring organization, they will be allowed to take economy class flights but this does not include premium economy class.
Official or personal travels must not be sponsored by private individuals, including suppliers or contractors, with pending request or application or future dealings with any branch or office of government.
For the Filipino delegations that will represent the country at international conferences or conventions, they are also required to submit a report to the Office of the President through the department secretary, copy furnished the Foreign Affairs Secretary, 30 days after the closing of the event.
The official or personal travels must not be sponsored by private individuals, including suppliers or contractors, with pending request or application or future dealings with any branch or office of government.