DAVAO CITY –Malacañang announced that government employees must now seek the approval of their respective agencies with regards to any planned trips abroad, regardless of the nature of their travels.
In a press briefing here, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s desire to rid the government of corruption.
As a result, the president has issued certain guidelines for government workers in their travels abroad, which Roque added, applies even to rank-and-file personnel.
“It applies to everyone,” the spokersperson said. “Alam mo kaya importante rin na kailangan ma-approve maski personal trips, meron naman kasing Unexplained Wealth Act no, kung byahe ka ng byahe, na personal nga, walang gastos ang gobyerno, saan mo naman kinukuha yung pang byahe mo?”
According to Roque, the memorandum on government workers’ foreign travels issued yesterday included a provision ordering the heads of offices to furnish the Office of the Executive Secretary with the list of officials who have traveled on a regular basis.
The memorandum came after Marcial Quirico Amaro III was sacked from his position as Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator, following an investigation of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) revealing that he has traveled abroad 24 times in the past two years, with most of his travel expenses shouldered by the government.
“I’d like to highlight that all of the trips except for one are official,” Roque explained of Amaro’s travels. “But the point of the president is, we have to be selective of the trips that we will undertake, and definitely, 24 travels is excessive. Of the 24 travels, only about 3 were sponsored trips. All the other trips were paid for by the Philippine government and almost all the trips, he received honorarium and other sums for his trips abroad.”
The Presidential Spokesperson also reminded government officials that the President’s fight against corruption should not be taken lightly.
“Let this be a reminder to all public officials that the president is serious in his mandate that they should live modest lives, that they should be true to their calling and that they should avoid unnecessary trips,” he said. “Tingin ko po na walang kaduda-duda na seryoso ang ating president dito sa kampanya laban sa korupsyon.”
He added, “Kung nagnanais kayong yumaman, kung nagnanais kayong mag byahe, wag na po kayong magtrabaho sa gobyerno, nandyan naman po ang pribadong sector.” ### PCOO-Davao