Duterte to transfers 8 agencies to DILG, DSWD, DTI
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the transfer of eight agencies under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary to three departments, two of which headed by retired military officials.
Through Executive Order No. 67, Duterte transferred eight agencies to the Department of Trade and Industry Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Social Welfare and Development—the DILG and DSWD currently headed by former military generals.
The reorganization of the agencies under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary comes as Rey Leonardo Guerrero, yet another former general, takes the helm of the Bureau of Customs.
The president has explained his preference for appointing former military officers to government posts, saying he prefers them because they follow orders and get things done.
He has pointed to the closure, subsequent reopening and continued rehabilitation of Boracay island to make his point. The Department of the Interior and Local Government and Department of Environment and Natural Resources, key agencies in the cleanup of the island, are led by former military generals.
Duterte’s EO 67 effectively revamped the Office of the Cabinet Secretary as it ordered the transfers of:
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Cooperative Development Authority, to the Department of Trade and Industry;
Facebook account that the reshuffling
National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Philippine Commission on Women and the National Youth
Commission, to the Department of Interior Local Government, and
National Anti-Poverty Commission, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor, to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The DTI is led by Secretary Ramon Lopez, while retired soldiers Eduardo Año and Rolando Bautista head the DILG and DSWD respectively.
Liza Maza, former lead convenor of NAPC, said on her Facebook account that the reshuffling a “horror story.”
Duterte, in a speech late Wednesday night, said there indeed a “militarization” of the government.
“They say it’s militarization of the government, [they are] correct,” the president said.
Aside from the appointment of former generals to government agencies, the president earlier said that troops
would “take over” corruption-ridden Bureau of Customs although his spokespersons have since clarified that
the military would only be there to help.
The 1987 Constitution states: “No member of the armed forces in the active service shall, at any time, appointed or
designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations or any of their subsidiaries.”
Panelo claimed that corruption at the bureau equates
Guerrero, who was head of the Maritime Industry Authority before moving to the Customs Bureau,
has assured the public there would be no militarization in the BOC. “There will be personnel from the
[Armed Forces of the Philippines] that would support the BOC but that does not mean that the BOC take
over by the military because, clearly, I’m civilian and I am the head of the agency.”
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has justified the pending AFP “takeover” of Customs by saying
that the massive corruption at the bureau constitutes “lawless violence.”
While Panelo claimed that corruption at the bureau equates to the “lawless violence” that prompted Duterte to
declare a state of national emergency in September 2016 and which, he said, would justify sending soldiers to the
Bureau of Customs, other lawyers disagree.
Law professor and legal expert Tony La Viña said on Tuesday categorically said that corruption not lawless violence.
“They cannot do anything there unless there’s war, rebellion or lawless violence where people are killing each other.”