By Genalyn D. Kabiling
President Duterte has ordered government agencies to “go slow” in hiring consultants amid concerns about their excessive salaries.
Instead of spending on consultants, the President reminded agencies to just consult with existing government experts in case they need assistance.
“Let us go slow in the hiring of consultants,” the President said during the oath-taking of new government officials in Malacañang.
The President made the pitch after discovering one office has hired four consultants who are paid P200,000 each. He expressed shock at the lavish salary of the consultants, which he claimed was bigger than his pay as the country’s leader.
“Mas malaki pa sa sweldo ko ang buang. Susmaryosep. Eh kung ganon, eh ‘di hindi na sana ako nag-Presidente, nag-consultant na lang ako [They have bigger salary than me. Crazy. If that’s the case, I should have not run for President and instead became consultant],” he said.
“We have experts in government whom you can consult when [the] need arises. Avail of their expertise, seek their assistance,” he added.
If the agency cannot avoid hiring consultants, the President said they should “moderate” their salaries.
“Excessive fees cut into the budget. Be careful with public funds. It is not money that you are at a liberty to spend at the people’s expense,” he said.
The President, meantime, has appointed several new government officials, including two new Philippine ambassadors, namely, Joseph Yap (Singapore), and Maria Cleofe Natividad (Austria).
Also appointed was Ronald Cardema as commissioner representing Luzon of the National Youth Commission. Cardema is a known supporter of Duterte during the campaign.
The President designated another staunch supporter, singer Michelle Ortega, as new assistant secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
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