Duterte to impose 'no travel abroad' policy for executive department

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, December 21, vehemently warned officials and employees of the executive department that he would impose a policy of "no travel abroad" starting January 1 next year.

The President made the pronouncement in a speech delivered in an event held in Davao City.

Duterte once again made reference to the "flimsy" reason of other public officials to frequently spend time abroad, saying he feels disgruntled every time he learns that workers in government went overseas several times.

He said he would direct Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to issue an order, directing all officials and personnel from executive abroad to refrain from traveling abroad, beginning January 1, 2018.

He said only members of the Philippine diplomatic corps will be allowed to travel to foreign countries.

"When you look at the records, (they are) going abroad seven, eight, nine times using money of people for a flimsy reason to go there. That's why I get mad," he said, without mentioning names.

"That's why on January 1, I told Medialdea -- well, I do not want to interfere with Congress and the Supreme Court, you are separate branches of government -- here in my department, no travel now. I'll cut it or whatever, except the diplomats and ambassadors," he added.

Recently, Duterte fired Dangerous Drugs Board chairperson Dionisio Santiago and Philippine Commission for the Urban Poor head Terry Ridon over allegations that the two former officials had been involved in junkets abroad.

The President reiterated that he would not hesitate to sack any government officials who will be reported traveling abroad.

"To every one who travels every month, you go. I do not need you in the executive department. So there's really no travel (starting) January 1. I don't care if (you're dismissed). Son of a b****, you're wasting money," he said..

"There will be no travel. Let's have starvation diet there. Every time you go out, you spend per diem, and then hotels, plus the fare," he added. (SunStar Philippines)
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