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Pangandaman, Manalo get CA nod

by Jose Aravilla and Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Pangandaman, Manalo get CA nod
Pangandaman and Manalo.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed yesterday the designations of Amenah Pangandaman as Secretary of Budget and Management and Enrique Manalo as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, along with some diplomats and a member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

Pangandaman, who is the second woman to head the Department of Budget and Management and the only Muslim in the Marcos Cabinet, vowed to implement reforms, including digitalization.

“This is why we are investing heavily on infrastructure, agriculture, health, human capital development and social protection. Investment in these sectors will ensure our continued economic growth while taking care of our people on a macro level,” Pangandaman said.

“This (digitalization) will be a centralized budgeting system that will improve the ease of doing business, limit human discretion intervention and will fully enhance transparency in government transactions,” she added.

Sen. Grace Poe, who chairs the CA committee on budget and management, pushed for Pangandaman’s confirmation as Congress will go on a month-long break starting next week. Otherwise, President Marcos would have to reappoint her and undergo CA screening when Congress resumes session in October.
For Manalo, it was his second time to face the CA as lawmakers had many questions to determine his fitness for the post.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) chief, a veteran of the department, vowed to strongly defend and protect the country’s interests.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, chairman of the CA committee on foreign affairs, endorsed Manalo’s confirmation in plenary.
The CA also confirmed the appointments of 23 diplomats and Nesauro Hernandez as a member of the JBC, which screens appointees to the judiciary, representing the academe.

Bypassed

The CA, however, bypassed the appointments of Erwin Tulfo as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development and Manuel Bonoan as Secretary of Public Works and Highways, who were both scheduled to undergo hearings, due to lack of time.

Tulfo, who so far is not facing any opposition in the CA, was present in the Senate premises where the confirmation proceedings were held. But Poe said Tulfo was gracious and understood the situation and gave way to Pangandaman.

Bonoan, however, may undergo more than a few hearings, given criticisms from some lawmakers, including Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Bypassed appointees mean Marcos would have to issue ad interim appointments for them until such time they are confirmed by the CA.

Other officials deemed bypassed were Press Secretary Rose Beatrix Cruz-Angeles, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Housing Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy, Migrant Workers Secretary Maria Susana Ople; Science Secretary Renato Solidum Jr., Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Commission on Audit Chairman Jose Calida.

COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS

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