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DOTr issues order stripping attached agencies of some key functions

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The Department of Transportation issued an order stripping its attached agencies in the road and rail sector of some key functions.

It issued Department Order dated Feb. 28, 2023 to take away several important functions away from Metro Rail Transit Line 3, DOTr Regional Offices in Cordillera Autonomous Region and CARAGA, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and Philippine Railways Institute.

The 13-page order, entitled “Delegation and Delineation of Authorities in the DOTr Central office and its Sectoral Project Management Offices,” specified the scope and limitations in all administrative matters, as well as procurement processes for programs, activities and projects; disbursement and fund under the General Appropriations Act; and approval of other matters concerning the said offices.

The order aims to “ensure an efficient and effective flow of operations, harmonize responsibilities and enhance work efficiency in the department.”

It said that for the attached agencies and offices mentioned, where the approved budget for a contract is above P50 million, they should seek the approval of the undersecretary concerned, and for the most part the undersecretary of administration and finance.

Transactions, including advance payment, billing and fund transfer to agencies where the contract is P50 million and above should be subject to the approval of the DOTr secretary.

Groups said the issuance of the DOTr order might hamper and to some extent delay important government transactions, including the bidding for the production of motor vehicle license plates, which is carried out by the LTO, bidding for spare parts and trains in MRT-3 and PNR and other vital infrastructure and IT projects of attached agencies.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, however, assured that there would be no delays in the delivery of services to the public.

“We review policies and procedures to implement good governance and practices,” he said.

The order also limits the administrative functions of the DOTr’s attached agencies. Instead of giving heads of agencies authority to approve functions such as engaging job order and contract service workers as well as appointment and/or contracts, renewal notice of termination, approval of expiration of contracts, acceptance of resignation and dropping from the rolls, these functions were given to the DOTr central office, specifically to the undersecretary for administration and finance.

The undersecretary for administration and finance was designated as approving authority for administrative matters in attached agencies such as requests to render overtime pay of employees, application for leave, terminal leave, office clearance, issuance of travel authority, nomination to local and foreign scholarships, vehicle assignments and other matters.

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