Cabinet revamp – Manila Standard

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President Duterte recently admitted that he is having a hard time fulfilling his promise of eradicating illegal drugs and graft and corruption in the government. The executive branch of the government has been facing a lot of challenges and recent events showed that it is having difficulty in fulfilling its promises. Hence, we must ask, are there members of the Executive family who perform below expectations?

Unfortunately, the President had to let go several members of his Cabinet. Early this year, he relieved Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueño and National Irrigation Administration Chief Peter Laviña due to corruption allegations. The Commission on Appointments rejected the ad interim appointments of Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez, and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo. Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon resigned over the P6.4-billion “shabu” shipment controversy.

Waiting for confirmation by the CA are Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial and Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, who both received several oppositions to their confirmation. It seems that these two appointees will have a hard time getting CA confirmation. Secretary Ubial was caught flip-flopping as she displayed inconsistent positions on major health issues such as the presence of Zika virus in the country, the approval of dengue vaccine which had health risks, and the number of deaths in evacuation centers in Marawi. Meanwhile, Secretary Mariano faces graft and administrative charges for allowing farmers to occupy the property of Lapanday Foods Corp. in Tagum, Davao del Norte.

Latest news reported that the President will soon fire two more Cabinet members due to conflict of interest. While we wait for his official announcement on who these two members are, let us take a look on the performance of the President’s Cabinet members. A year into the Duterte administration, can we say that we are satisfied with the performance of the Cabinet members? I don’t think so.

Currently facing public criticism is Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chairman Martin Delgra III for allegedly favoring taxis over Transport Network Vehicle Services companies, Uber and Grab. Uber ended up paying P190 million to lift the one-month suspension imposed by LTFRB for allegedly defying a moratorium on accepting new drivers. A few months ago, Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo scrapped a P650-million international ad campaign due to its glaring similarities with another ad. Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa is being questioned for the numerous killings committed by the police during anti-drug operations. Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana admitted failing to appreciate intelligence reports on the Maute terror group. These are just some Cabinet appointments that the President might want to review.

The Cabinet revamp is appropriate. Members of the President’s Executive family must be beyond reproach, are competent to discharge their sworn duties and finally, are equal to the tasks of this administration.

Let’s face it. We have a very popular President and some of his appointees are just merely riding his fame and are actually not effective. A Cabinet revamp would be timely. Experience has taught us that in the long run, the popularity of a President declines. If he keeps incompetent members, his legacy as a President would be affected.

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