Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Ramon “RJ” Jacinto has been named Presidential Adviser for Telecommunications, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Former Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr. was also appointed Presidential Adviser on Streamlining of Government Processes, the Palace announced.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte signed Jacinto’s appointment paper on Nov. 25. He said Jacinto’s appointment will have the Cabinet rank of Secretary.
Prior to his appointment, Jacinto has served the Duterte administration in various capacities. He was the former Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and Information Communications Technology, with the rank of Undersecretary.
He was appointed to the DICT after Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. resigned on January 31 this year.
Roque likewise confirmed Evasco’s appointment in a statement sent to reporters.
“The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has signed the appointment of Mr. Leoncio Badilla Evasco Jr. as Presidential Adviser on Streamlining of Government Processes, with the rank of Secretary, on November 24, 2020,” he said.
Roque welcomed Evasco’s return to the Duterte Cabinet after he stepped down to run for governor of Bohol in the 2019 mid-term polls.
“PA Evasco is not new in the Duterte administration having served as Cabinet secretary in the early years of the current administration. His familiarity with the present bureaucracy would contribute greatly in his new task of streamlining government processes in the Executive. Welcome back, PA Evasco,” he said.
Jacinto, a musician, and businessman helped campaign for Duterte in the 2016 presidential elections. He also composed a campaign jingle for Duterte.
He is currently the chairman of the board of the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corp., which is the holding company of Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation. Before that, he was president and CEO of Philcomsat since 2008.
Philcomsat is a development stage company seeking to venture into telecommunications and the development of low-cost housing. The Company was incorporated in 1956.
Jacinto graduated with honors from the Ateneo de Manila with a degree in Economics. He continued his studies by taking up law at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
Roque expressed confidence that Jacinto would effectively fulfill his job as a presidential adviser.
“We are therefore confident that PA Jacinto would ably and effectively discharge his duties in this new assignment,” he said.
Evasco, a former priest and New People’s Army member stepped down as Cabinet secretary to run for governor of Bohol in 2019, but lost to then-House Deputy Speaker Rep. Arthur Yap.
Prior to his appointment as a presidential adviser, he was head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council in 2016 after Vice President Leni Robredo resigned from her post.
He was also named as a member of a panel formed to dialogue with the Catholic Church and other religious groups in June 2018.
Evasco first worked for Duterte as his campaign manager for his mayoral campaign in 1988. He was again tapped to be campaign manager of his 2016 presidential campaign.
He was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1970 and was assigned in different municipalities in the province of Bohol.
He also served as mayor for Maribojoc from 2007 to 2016.
Evasco finished his B.A. in Philosophy and Theology in Seminario Mayor de San Carlos in Cebu City in 1966 and 1970, respectively. He finished his masters at Ateneo de Davao University.
Malacanang has yet to release the appointment papers of both Evasco and Jacinto.