Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos has accepted the offer of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to serve as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the incoming administration.
Marcos spokesman and chief-of-staff Vic Rodriguez made the announcement during a press conference at the Marcos campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong on Friday.
Abalos served as Marcos’ campaign manager in the recently concluded elections.
Rodriguez said Abalos is also a member of the transition team formed by Marcos in preparation for his takeover as chief executive.
“The campaign executive committee will serve as the transition team and for the names of the transition team, it is to be led by yours truly,” Rodriguez said.
“And I have with me, Congressman Anton Lagdameo, Chairman Benhur Abalos, former congresswoman Naida Angping, and South Cotabato Gov. Jun Tamayo,” he added.
“These are the names that I am at liberty to reveal at the moment, but this is the composition of our transition team,” Rodriguez added.
The government on Thursday named the members of the transition team that will hand over the reins to the incoming Marcos administration.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who will lead the turnover team, said President Rodrigo Duterte issued Administrative Order 47 for the creation of the Presidential Transition Committee (PTC).
With Medialdea as chairman, its members include Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Undersecretary Tina Rose Marie Canda, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority chief Karl Kendrick Chua.
“The PTC will oversee the implementation of the transition activities of the entire government and see to it that delivery of services to the public remains unhampered,” Medialdea said.
Earlier this week, Marcos announced that presumptive vice president Sara Duterte will be the secretary of the Department of Education under his administration.
Rodriguez also denied the existence of a list of alleged officials of the Marcos administration that was being spread on social media, saying there are only two confirmed incoming Cabinet members.
“Those who spread on social media, there’s no truth to that apparent list. There is no list,” Rodriguez said.
He said the people sought to be members of Marcos’s Cabinet must be able to serve the public, love the country, respect the Constitution, and not be involved in overthrowing the government.
“We’re in the process of searching and looking up for possible nominees for different Cabinet positions. I don’t think anyone should expect that it can be announced in one sitting because as you know the vetting process takes time…. It’s not a one way thing, it has to be accepted and it has to be offered,” Rodriguez said.
Earlier, Duterte accepted the Education post.
“Our country needs a future generation of patriotic Filipinos that advocate peace and discipline in their respective communities,” she said.
Also on Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) said it is readying its energy transition program for turnover to the next administration, which includes a focus on renewable energy and nuclear development.
“We are undergoing an energy transition already. That’s why we have a big push from other technologies as well, not only for nuclear but also a big push for renewables because at the end of the day, it’s the indigenous and clean sources that we really have to focus on because we are undergoing international issues and challenges that affects the country,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said.
Emmanuel Rubio, Aboitiz Power Corp. president said they look forward to how the new administration will drive a sustainable energy transition for the Philippines, “specifically the continuation of the government’s program for cleaner energy sources and zero-emissions power generation technologies, in line with the global imperative for climate action.”
“Our new leaders have a critical role to plan, coordinate, and deliver a sustainable energy transition for the Philippines, that will support the fruition of the full economic potential of the country while balancing energy security and affordability,” he said.
For the Philippine energy system to continue growing and thriving, Rubio said Aboitiz Power believes that all industry players must work together – the government, private sector, and even consumers.
“We’re optimistic about the opportunities that we can collaborate on,” he said.