Firing gov't officials for foreign junkets
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 11, 2018 - 12:00am

What I like most in President Duterte is that he is a very decisive chief executive. He does not savor in analysis paralysis, as PNoy was said to be too notorious of. President Digong neither hesitate nor equivocate, especially on hiring and firing. He does not dwell on emotions or personal ties.  He hires without much ado, and then fires his own appointees and those appointed by his predecessors without batting an eyelash. If you ask me, that kind of presidential style is both good and bad. It is good because we hate indecision, but it can be bad because hiring and firing without thinking can create a lot of enemies for Malacañang.

Most firings are based only on two grounds: First, either corruptions or clouds of doubts about graft and anomalies, and; second, too much travelling abroad. Duterte hates Cabinet members, bureau directors, and heads of agencies who go on junkets endlessly. The latest casualty was MARINAAdministrator Amaro III who was charged of travelling more than 23 times within a period of two years. Amaro claims that he was granted Malacañang clearance and the green light from the Transportation secretary. But, cleared or not, Duterte would not have any to justify frequent foreign travels, official or personal.

Davao congressman KarloNograles also complained that CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan was alleged to have gone also on frequent foreign travels, a matter now looked into by Malacañang.  Nograles is an influential member of the super majority coalition, and chairman of the powerful budget committee, besides being from Davao City himself. Although the father of Karlo, former  Speaker Boy Nograles, used to be a political opponent of  Manong Digong, the Nograleses and the Dutertes have reconciled when Digong ran for president.

I concur with the President on this latest crusade against junkets usually done by bureaucrats using public funds. They bring along their spouses, children, even in-laws. Yes, they pay for their own tickets, but they usually share in the dinners, hotels and amenities, the cost of which is charged to government. They also bring their underlings, secretaries and their girlfriends, and mistresses.Some of them would go to Las Vegas to watch Manny Pacquiao's fights and to gamble in the casinos. They could always find a seminar nearby to make the flight official. President Duterte is the only president who takes a very decisive stance on this subdued kind of graft.

When I was undersecretary of Labor I always travelled to Geneva, New York, the Middle East and all over Asia. But I was attending ILO conventions and was merely following orders. And President Duterte was not yet the president then.

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