Palace issues memo on foreign travels for officials in executive branch

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2018 05:43 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Wednesday released a memorandum outlining rules for foreign travels of officials and personnel under the executive branch.

This followed President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier announcement that he would restrict foreign travels of his officials after he fired several appointees for supposedly taking lavish junkets.

The memorandum, dated January 3 and signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, said no official foreign travel shall be allowed unless the purpose of the trip is strictly within the mandate of the official or personnel, the projected expenses for the trip are “not excessive,” and the trip is expected to bring “substantial benefit to the country.”

All government officials and personnel are also required to secure travel authorization from their respective agencies even if the purpose of the trip is personal and its expenses are not shouldered by the government.

All heads of agencies are also ordered to submit at the end of every quarter a list of all travel authorities they have issued.

The Department of Interior and Local Government shall also comply with such requirement when it comes to trips taken by local government officials.

Those who fail to comply with the directive may face administrative sanction for misconduct, insubordination, and other related offenses.

The President had earlier fired officials for supposedly taking unnecessary junkets, among them former Dangerous Drugs Board chief Dionisio Santiago and Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor chief Terry Ridon.

Also recently, Malacañang ordered Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) President Elba Cruz to vacate her post. DAP employees earlier alleged that Cruz had mismanaged the institution and took monthly trips abroad.