Palace eyes turnover of transition reports by end-May

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Malacañang is preparing to turn over transition documents to the incoming administration by the end of the month, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said Friday.

In a note to the media, Coloma said in its first meeting today, the Presidential Transition Committee (PTC) focused on ensuring that the transition reports of all departments, agencies, bureaus, GOCCs, and other instrumentalities under the executive branch are submitted and consolidated by end-May.

"This will give the incoming administration ample time to review these reports before assumption into office," he said.

He added that the administration has also designated point persons. As directed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., the most senior career official will be designated as agency focal person for the whole transition process leading to the inauguration of the incoming president on June 30.

Coloma gave assurances that the administration is prepared to work with the next administration.

"According to ES Ochoa, the PTC is prepared to work with, and meet with the transition team of the incoming President," he said.

President Benigno Aquino III's term expires high noon of June 30. He will be succeeded by presidential frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte's own transition committee has yet to meet with Malacañang's team.

READ: Duterte takes page from Justin Trudeau, eyes balanced Cabinet


Meanwhile, Camarines Sur Rep. Salvio Fortuno urged Duterte to set another milestone in the nation's political history by breaking a tradition -- taking his oath of office before a punong barangay.

"It would not be surprising if a down-to-earth politician like President-elect Duterte departs from the old tradition and further boost his mass appeal by taking his oath of office before a Punong Barangay in recognition of their sacrifices and unrelenting efforts to deliver frontline services of the government," Fortuno said.

He stressed that letting a punong barangay administer his oath of office will surely endear him more to the over 42,000 punong barangays in the country.

Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, one of the leaders of the Party-list Coalition in the Lower House, said his group will back the Duterte administration.

"Our group has not yet come up with a consensus who to support for Speaker. But we will support one who will give us fair and equitable treatment in the distribution of positions and chairmanships in the House of Representatives," he said.