Thursday , April 26, 2018

Duterte’s new EO expands Evasco's power over Cabinet

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has vested Cabinet Secretary Leoncio an “enhanced and strengthened” powers by mandating him to administer two offices that are to be established, in order to "promote good governance and timely response to public concerns."

This was revealed a day after Evasco took over Vice President Leni Robredo's former role as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

Under Executive Order (EO) 9, Evasco was tasked to supervise the Office of Participatory Governance (OPG) and the Strategic Action and Response (STAR) Office, which will be created under his office.

Section 2 of the EO provides that the OPG shall promote “active citizenship, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability in governance.”

The OPG should initiate programs and projects that will facilitate citizen empowerment and participation in governance at the national, regional and local levels.

Evasco also needs to make sure that various stakeholders has direct participation in the crafting and formulation of policies and programs to address concerns at the grassroots level.

The STAR Office, on the other hand, will be built to strengthen the current Presidential Action Center (PAC) system and coordinate with the different agencies towards “increasing timeliness and responsiveness of government services.”

The PAC, which will be renamed as Presidential Complaint Center under the EO, is mandated to establish and maintain a platform to receive requests, complaints, and grievances from the general public, and refer them to the concerned government agencies.

The Public Concerns Office (PCO), which is currently under the Presidential Management Staff, will also be transferred to the STAR Office.

Evasco has to monitor whether the PCO institutes a feedback mechanisms to ensure that requests for assistance, complaints and grievances referred by the PCC are hastily acted upon by the concerned agencies.

To further strengthen the STAR Office, the EO states that it would also supervise a Quick Response Center, which will serve as Duterte’s direct arm in coordinating with all concerned agencies to immediately respond to critical incidents, crises or disasters.

Evasco will be assisted by undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and directors. All heads of department, agencies, bureaus, and offices will also have to continue rendering full and timely assistance and cooperation to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.

Based on the EO, the Cabinet Secretary is also responsible for convening the Cabinet Assistance System that will handle priority areas or subjects that require special and immediate attention, as identified and recommended by Department Secretaries.

Evasco will also remain a member of the National Economic and Development Authority. (Sunnex)