MANILA, Philippines – Change – at least in terms of administrative structure – has come to Malacañang to ring in the New Year.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on December 29, 2022, issued Executive Order (EO) No. 11, which “further [streamlines]” the administrative structure of the Office of the President.
The EO, issued via Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, tweaks the structure created by Marcos’ first ever EO, which was issued under the President’s first – and short-lived – executive secretary, Vic Rodriguez.
From December 29 onwards, five offices will be directly under the Office of the President. They are:
- Executive Office (which includes the Office of the Executive Secretary, the offices of the executive secretary’s deputies, as well as other attached offices)
- Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
- Private Office (which consists of the Protocol Office and the Social Secretary’s Office)
- Office of the Special Assistant to the President (which has control and supervision over presidential assistants and the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office)
- Presidential Communications Office or PCO (formerly the Office of the Press Secretary)
The Presidential Management Staff or PMS, which used to work in tandem with the executive secretary and the special assistant to the President, is now under the Office of the Executive Secretary. The PMS is tasked with assisting various offices under the Office of the President and, just as in EO 1, is in charge of establishing the agenda of Cabinet meetings.
Under the PMS are the Cabinet Cluster System and the Correspondence Office.
As of the start of 2023, the PMS was without a head after Naida Angping, former aide to the President’s uncle, stepped away from her post.
The Executive Office is headed by Bersamin, while the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel is headed by Juan Ponce Enrile. Bianca Zobel is Marcos’ social secretary while the chief of presidential protocol is Adelio Angelito Cruz.
Anton Lagdameo, Marcos’ longtime friend, is his special assistant while the newly renamed PCO is headed by an officer-in-charge, lawyer Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil.
Just like in EO 1, the Office of the Executive Secretary has administrative supervision over offices and agencies attached to the Office of the President.
Bersamin, a former Supreme Court chief justice, joined the executive branch in late September 2022, or just before Marcos entered his 100th day in office. He replaced Rodriguez, who was Marcos’ 2022 campaign spokesperson and chief of staff, then later resigned from the post of executive secretary, citing his desire to spend time with family.
While Rodriguez initially claimed he would remain in Malacañang as presidential chief of staff, he actually did not. Bersamin himself would later tell media that Rodriguez was no longer part of the Marcos Cabinet. – Rappler.com