The Manila Bulletin Today
June 12, 2007
By Fel V. Maragay
A WIDE-RANGING revamp of the government bureaucracy is under way as part of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s aim to revitalize her reform program during the last three years of her term.
As part of this revamp, the President has already ordered the chairmen, chief executives, presidents and board members of government-owned or -controlled corporations to submit their courtesy resignations.
“This marks the start of the revamp,” Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said in a phone interview with Standard Today.
Last week, during a visit to Europe, the President hinted that a major Cabinet shakeup was in the works in the face of calls from various quarters for changes in her official family in the light of the administration’s poor showing in the senatorial elections.
Close associates quoted Mrs. Arroyo as saying she was through paying back political debts, the next three years were hers, and that she could do as she pleased.
The statement suggested she would no longer put up with the protégés of political allies who have turned out to be liabilities to her administration.
The new order calling for courtesy resignations will affect thousands of appointees. Usually, the chairmen and members of the board of government corporations have a term of three years, but since last year, the President has issued only temporary appointments.
There are about 90 government-owned or -controlled corporations. The list grows longer with the addition of their wholly owned subsidiaries and sequestered companies.
Bunye said the President’s newest order also covered government appointees in sequestered private companies.
He said a Malacañang panel would review the performance of the appointees and decide if their resignation would be accepted.
Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and presidential adviser on land reform Heherson Alvarez earlier tipped off journalists of an impending revamp.
They said the ax would fall on administration officials who had failed to perform, or those who did nothing to help the Team Unity senatorial candidates in the last election.
What a bold move.
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