Malacañang on Thursday, January 4, announced President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s decision to fire an official of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) due to excessive foreign trips.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. confirmed in a press briefing in Davao that the President ordered to terminate the services of MARINA Administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro III.
Roque said investigations were made by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) following complaints received by the Office of the President from MARINA employees accusing Amaro of engaging in junkets abroad.
Citing DOTr’s findings, the Spokesperson said Amaro made a total of 24 foreign trips in a span of 13 months, from 2016 to 2017.
Of these 24 trips, Roque said only three were sponsored by organizations that invited Amaro. The rest were paid for by the Philippine government.
“Let this be a reminder to all public officials that the President is serious in his mandate that they should lead modest lives, that they should be true to their calling, and that they should avoid unnecessary trips,” Roque stressed.
Amaro’s termination comes after the removal of Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) Chair Terry Ridon due to junkets and his supposed failure to hold meetings.
Roque further revealed that several police officials may also be terminated soon.
He reiterated the guidelines set by the government on officials’ foreign trips. He said all travels must always be related to the functions or mandate of the agency, must not be too costly, and must have substantial benefits to the country.
“All government employees need to get approval for any foreign travel, be it official or personal,” Roque said.
“This is the President’s unilateral decision to crackdown on foreign travels of government officials. He believes that government officials should concentrate on their jobs here in the Philippines… Any foreign travel must conform [to] the guidelines,” he added.
Palace bullish on PH manufacturing growth
During the same press briefing, the Palace Spokesperson said the government is bullish to see the country’s manufacturing sector hitting record numbers consistently.
Roque cited the Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which showed that the Philippines maintained its top place among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in the manufacturing sector.
Roque noted that manufacturing continues to be a key driver for growth and reliable source of jobs for Filipinos, growing by 8.3 percent during the first three quarters of 2017 and employing 3.4 million workers as of October 2017.
“To sustain this, we are therefore committed to create an environment conducive for high-skill, high-value, high-impact manufacturing operations,” Roque stressed.
Furthermore, the Spokesperson assured Filipinos of the speedy rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City. Roque said the government has already turned over 800 housing units to families affected by the siege, and is set to deliver more in the coming months.###PCO-Content