By Lance Arevada

PHOTO: Philippine Star/ Kriz John Rosales

A week after assuming the country’s highest office, Malacañang on Thursday released the first two executive orders (EOs) signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., which all focused on reorganizing and consolidating agencies under the Executive Branch for improving internal management and bureaucracy within the government.

Marcos Jr.’s EO No. 1 has effectively abolished the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS), which were cited as having “duplicated and overlapping” functions in the government.

According to the issuance, the abolition of the said offices was done “to achieve simplicity, economy, and efficiency in the bureaucracy without effecting disruptions in internal management and general governance.”

“The Administration shall streamline official processes and procedures by reorganizing the Office of the President proper and the various attached agencies and offices, and by abolishing duplicated and overlapping official functions,” the order also noted.

Created by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017 out of his annoyance with the Ombudsman investigating his wealth, the PACC was mandated to investigate presidential appointees within the agencies under the Executive Branch and even those in the police and armed forces.

With President Marcos’ first EO, its powers, jurisdiction, and functions are now transferred to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, including formulating recommendations to the executive secretary subjected to action by the president.

On the other hand, the OCS was previously ordered to establish agendas for discussion and facilitate Cabinet meetings. It was also the head secretariat of the different Cabinet cluster secretariats formed in the Duterte administration.

Now being abolished, the existing Cabinet Secretariat under the OCS will be placed under the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), headed by Sec. Zenaida Angping. It will still be in charge of conducting Cabinet meetings in coordination with Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez.

In addition to these developments, President Marcos also created the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military and Police Affairs, which will be supervised by Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr.

Marcos Jr.’s EO #2: PCOO renamed to OPS, Pres’l spox post dissolved

For Marcos Jr.’s EO No. 2, the government’s communication offices have been consolidated and restructured for “more efficient delivery of public policy to the general public.”

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has been renamed to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), which will continue to be headed by lawyer-vlogger Trixie Cruz-Angeles.

Among the mandates of the OPS is to “pronounce, on behalf of the President, matters pertaining to his actions, policies, programs, official activities, and accomplishments.”

The OPS has been designated with eight undersecretaries, in which the existing offices under the PCOO will be assigned and integrated under the areas covered by the said OPS officials.

With this reorganization in the communications division, the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson is abolished with its functions transferred to the revived OPS.

Following the said abolition, the following offices which were under the presidential spokesperson will now be attached to the OPS: Apo Production Unit, Bureau of Broadcast Services, Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation, National Printing Office, News and Information Bureau, and People’s Television Network inc.

The Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), which covers the official activities of the president, will now be under the control of the PMS.

In addition, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) will be handling the following offices that have been previously attached to the PCOO: Bureau of Communications Services, Freedom of Information-Program Management Office, and Good Governance Office.

Edited by Kyla Balatbat