Duterte orders shake-up at local water board, intel committee

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the reorganization of the National Intelligence Committee (NIC) and the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Board.

Under Administrative Order (AO) 7 signed on September 22, the President amended existing AO 68 in a bid to allow NIC to "provide greater unity and cohesion of intelligence community."

Duterte, in his AO, wanted the NIC to provide a "more focused and clearer delineation of tasks" among agencies involved in the gathering of national security issues.

AO 68, which was inked under Arroyo administration in 2003, organized NIC to serve as an advisory body to National Intelligent Coordinating Agency's (Nica) director general for coordination, integration, and fusion of all intelligence activities relating to the preparation of the National Intelligence Estimate and in addressing other issues of national intelligence concern.

Duterte's AO 7 still designated Nica's director general as NIC chair and Department of Foreign Affairs, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police as its members.

The new EO expanded its membership, which now includes the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine Coast Guard, and Office of Transportation Security.

"The country's internal and external security situation necessitates greater inter-agency collaboration in the collection, fusion, and production of accurate, relevant, reliable and timely intelligence for the formulation of national security policies by the President and the National Security Council," Duterte said in AO 7.

"There is a need to provide more focused and clearer delineation of tasks among units/agencies involved in the gathering of intelligence on national security issues and concerns, in order to preclude unnecessary duplication of intelligence activities, ensure complete coverage of intelligence concerns as well as promote the judicious use of government resources," he added.

Meanwhile, Duterte also signed Executive Order (EO) 41, which reconstituted the membership of LWUA Board.

Inked on September 15, the EO reverted to the general qualifications of the members of the LWUA Board under Presidential Decree 198 and repealed the ex officio designation of secretaries of Finance, Public Works, and Health, or their alternates.

The EO mandated that all board members, composed of a chairman and four trustees, must be Filipino citizens who have at least 10 years of experience in banking, finance or business; possess sufficient background in economics; have expertise in management or system operation; must be civil or sanitary engineers with exposure to water supply or wastewater operations.

EO 41 allowed three representations from the national government and one representation from the private sector, provided that no elected official should be part of the LWUA Board.

All trustees are further required to meet the conditions outlined under the Fit and Proper Rule of the Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations Governance Act of 2011.

u201cPending the designation and assumption of the new members of the LWUA Board representing the national government, the secretaries of Finance, Public Works and Highways, and Health, or their alternates, shall continue to sit in the LWUA Board to ensure the continuous and unhampered operations thereof,” the EO read. (SunStar Philippines)

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