EOs, proclamations, issuances show Duterte’s priorities
MANILA, Philippines – It’s easy to judge President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership and governance style based on his words, spoken from a podium or behind a standing microphone during a press conference.
But how about doing it based on documents he signs?
Executive orders, proclamations, memorandum orders, administrative orders, and laws passed by Congress which he greenlights are also indicators of where the President’s priorities lie.
More than his extemporaneous public speeches, they also provide insight into who in the Cabinet he listens to and what issues have come to the fore during the one year and 5 months he has been in power.
Rappler looks into the major Malacañang issuances that have been signed by Duterte or Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, by the authority of the President.
As of December 14, Duterte has signed 530 major documents. That’s 47 executive orders, 378 proclamations, 17 memorandum orders, 9 administrative orders, 37 memorandum circulars, 39 laws, and 3 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of laws.
Much of the work that goes into laws (republic acts) are done by the Senate and the House of Representatives, with Duterte’s signature the last step in a complicated process. But his signature indicates his support for the measure, as opposed to him leaving the bill to merely lapse into law.
Most of the issuances don't have much to do with specific campaign promises, like proclamations of nationwide or provincial holidays, or laws that create new barangays (Duterte signed 5 of these) or marine hatcheries (14 such laws signed by Duterte).
Types of issuances
Malacañang issuances posted on the Official Gazette website show that some of these documents can easily be categorized according to Duterte’s top concerns: drugs, crime, corruption, defense and security, reduction of red tape, populist policies, economy, Mindanao peace process, and development issues like health and education. (To read the titles of the documents, categorized according to issue, scroll to the end of the article.)
But, first, what are the different types of Malacañang issuances?
An executive order (EO) are acts of the President “providing for rules of a general or permanent character in implementation or execution of constitutional or statutory powers.”
A proclamation, meanwhile, are acts of the President “fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or regulation is made to depend.” Proclamations have the force of an executive order.
An administrative order (AO) is a presidential act that “relates to particular aspects of governmental operations in pursuance of his duties as administrative head.”
Memorandum circulars, which are internal in nature, are not covered in depth in this article.
Drugs, crime, corruption
Which presidential concern led to the most number of documents signed by the President? Unsurprisingly, it’s the campaign against drugs, crime, and corruption, totaling 16 signed documents.
Duterte sought to address the issue with 6 EOs, 3 memorandum orders, 4 laws, 1 IRR, and 2 AOs.
These include two laws postponing barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, because of Duterte’s insistence that the polls would only be controlled by narcopoliticians. Duterte also signed a law increasing the penalties for crimes, and another placing casinos under the coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
As for EOs, there are the ones creating the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, inter-agency committee and task force against illegal drugs, the 8888 citizen complaints hotline, and operationalizing freedom of information in the executive branch.
Another major document was a memorandum order instructing the Philippine National Police to return to the war on drugs.
With the Marawi crisis, martial law in Mindanao, and the collapse of peace talks with the Left, it’s no wonder defense and security was the issue with the second highest number of presidential issuances: 11. They include 4 EOs, 4 proclamations, 2 memorandum orders, and 1 AO.
There were the proclamations declaring martial law, the termination of peace talks with communists, declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army as a terrorist organization, and the declaration of a state of national emergency due to lawless violence in Mindanao.
Through an EO, Duterte raised the military’s combat duty pay and combat incentive pay, streamlined the process for defense contracts, and renamed Benham Rise to Philippine Rise after reports that China was interested in the supposedly oil-rich underwater plateau.
Largely due to the influence of his economic advisers, especially Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Duterte also signed a good number of documents to ease restrictions on certain investment sectors, adjusting import duties on certain items, and long-term economic policies.
Duterte signed 9 EOs and 2 memorandum orders. The first tax reform package, ratified by Congress, is now up for Duterte’s signature. Tax reform is the battle cry of his economic managers.
Among the economy-related documents are a memorandum order to ease restrictions on certain investment areas or activities with limited foreign participation, an EO reducing the rates of duty on equipment imported by new or expanding enterprises registered with the the Board of Investments, and the EO adopting the longterm economic plan Ambisyon Natin 2040.
Duterte signed 4 EOs with a major impact on public health and which entail complicated implementation.
These are EO 26 banning smoking in public and enclosed spaces, EO 28 on limiting the use of firecrackers, EO 12 ensuring strict implementation of the Reproductive Health Act, and EO 4 on the establishment of drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers all over the country.
Duterte also signed RA 10932 increasing penalties for hospitals which require patients to pay a deposit before providing urgently-needed treatment.
As a politician who likes to appeal to ordinary Filipinos or masa, Duterte made sure to greenlight several “populist” measures, even despite opposition from his economic managers.
He affixed his signature to 3 landmark laws: the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, Free Internet Access in Public Places Act, and the Act Strengthening the Anti-hospital Deposit law.
Through an EO, he also increased the employment compensation and funeral benefits of employees. Through an AO, he authorized the granting of bonuses for job order and contractuals in government.
Duterte also approved the Congress resolution granting a P1,000 increase in Social Security Service pension.
Economic managers had reservations about the pension hike and the law providing free tuition in state universities and colleges, but Duterte okayed the measures anyway.
The President, who declared he did not want to see Filipinos lining up, signed two laws in line with this: the laws extending the validity of drivers' licenses and passports.
Through an EO, he also made it easier for government to use alternative methods of procurement instead of public bidding for government contracts. This raises concerns on safeguards against corruption, typical for any measure that introduces shortcuts.
Another EO created an Energy Investment Coordinating Council intended to streamline the regulatory procedures affecting energy projects.
Changes to the Office of the President
Duterte also spent ink considerably on issuances that would bring changes to his office.
His very first EO put the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) under the office of his aide, Special Assistant to the President Bong Go. It also placed 12 anti-poverty agencies under the office of Cabinet Secretary (OCS) Leoncio Evasco Jr, another of his most trusted.
Eventually, however, through another EO, some OP offices that had been transferred to the OCS were transferred back to the PMS: the Public Concerns Office, the Cabinet Support Office, and the Directives Monitoring Office.
Several memorandum orders constituted or reconstituted offices like Office of the President Performance Management Group, Committee on Decorum and Investigation, Inventory Committee in the Office of the President, and Office of the President Cultural Affairs Committee.
Upon the advice of Cabinet Secretary Evasco, Duterte also issued an EO that reorganized the Cabinet Clusters to reflect his priorities.
List of Duterte-signed documents, according to issue:
- RA 10952 Postponing October 2017 barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections
- RA 10951 Adjusting the amount or the value of property and damage on which a penalty is based, and the fines imposed under the revised penal code
- RA 10927 Designating casinos as covered persons under “Anti-money Laundering Act of 2001”
- RA 10923 Postponing the October 2016 barangay and SK elections
- IRR for Government Procurement Reform Act
- EO 2 Operationalizing in the executive branch the people’s constitutional right to information and the state policies to full public disclosure and transparency in the public service
- EO 6 Institutionalizing the 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Hotline and establishing the 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center
- EO 4 EO 4 Providing for the establishment and support of drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout the Philippines
- EO 13 Strengthening the fight against illegal gambling and clarifying the jurisdiction and authority of concerned agencies in the regulation and licensing of gambling and online gaming facilities
- EO 15 Creation of an Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD) and Anti-illegal Drug Task Force
- EO 43 Creating the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission
- Memorandum Orders: 3
- Memorandum Order No. 10 Designating the Presidential Communications Operations Office as lead agency in the implementation of Executive Order no. 2 (s. 2016) and the Freedom of Information Program in the executive branch
- Memorandum Order No. 13 Directing the abolition of Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation
- Memorandum Order No. 17 Directing the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to resume providing active support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations
- AO 7 Reorganizing the National Intelligence Committee to provide greater unity and cohesion of the intelligence community
- AO 1 Creating the Presidential Task Force on violations of the right to life, liberty and security of the members of the media
- EO 3 Increasing the rates of combat duty pay and combat incentive pay of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and extending the same allowances to the uniformed personnel of the philippine National Police
- EO 16 Directing all government departments and agencies, including GOCCs and local government units to adopt the National Security Policy 2017-2022
- EO 19 Repealing executive order no. 235 (s. 2003), streamlining the rules and procedures of defense contracts, and for other purposes
- EO 25 Changing the name of “Benham Rise” to "Philippine Rise”
- Proclamation 374 s 2017, declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army as a terrorist organization under RA 10168
- Proclamation 360 s 2017 Declaring terminal of peace negotiations with National Democratic Front, NPA
- Proclamation 216 Declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao
- Proclamation 55 s 2016 declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao
Memorandum Orders: 2
- Memorandum Order 3 Providing guidelines for the AFP and the PNP in the implementation of measures to suppress and prevent lawless violence
- Memorandum Order 4 Expanding the application of Memorandum Order No 3 (s.2016) to the Philippine Coast Guard and providing additional guidelines in the implementation of measures to suppress and prevent lawless violence
- EO 5 Approving and adopting the 25-year long term vision entitled Ambisyon Natin 2040 as guide for development planning
- EO 19 Reduction and condonation of real property taxes and interests/penalties assessed on the power generation facilities of independent power producers under build-operate transfer contracts with government-owned or -controlled corporations
- EO 20 Modifying the nomenclature and rates of import duty on various products under section 1611 of Customs Modernization and Tariff Act
- EO 21 Modifying the nomenclature and the rates of import duty on certain information technology products under section 1611 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act
- EO 22 Reducing the rates of duty on capital equipment, spare parts and accessories imported by Board of Investments – registered new and expanding enterprises
- EO 23 Extending the effectivity of the most-favored-nation rates of duty on certain agricultural products under RA 10863
- EO 27 Directing all government agencies and instrumentalities, including local government units, to implement the Philippine Development Plan and Public Investment Program for the period 2017-2022
- EO 31 Creating the Strategy, Economics, and Results Group in the Department of Finance
- EO 37 Adjusting the dividend rate of the National Development Company for its 2015 net earnings
Memorandum Orders: 2
- Memorandum Order No. 12 approving the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan
- Memorandum Order No. 16 directing the National Economic and Development Authority board and its member agencies to exert utmost efforts to lift or ease restrictions on certain investment areas or activities with limited foreign participation
CHANGES TO OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
- EO 1 Reengineering the Office of the President towards greater responsiveness to the attainment of development goals
- EO 9 Strengthening the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, enhancing its powers and functions, providing for its support staff
- EO 40 Amending EO 9 for the purpose of strengthening the functional arrangements in the Office of the President
Memorandum Orders: 7
- Memorandum Order 5 – Reconstituting the selection board for first and second level career positions, and the special board for third level career positions in the Office of the President proper
- Memorandum Order 6 – Reconstituting the Office of the President Cultural Affairs Committee
- Memorandum Order No. 7 – Constituting the Office of the President Performance Management Group
- Memorandum Order 8 Providing for the functions of the Presidential Assistance for the Visayas
- Memorandum Order 11 Reconstituting the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) of sexual harassment cases in the Office of the President
- Memorandum Order 14 Reconstitution of the Inventory Committee in the Office of the President
- Memorandum Order 15 Prohibiting all officers, employees, and other persons employed, contracted, or engaged by the Office of the President from prematurely disclosing unreleased official documents to the media and other unauthorized third persons
- RA 10930 Extending the validity period of drivers’ licenses
- RA 10928 Extending the validity of Philippine passports
- EO 34 Amending EO 423 s 2005 prescribing rules and procedures on the review and approval of all government contracts
- EO 30 Creating the Energy Investment Coordinating Council in order to streamline the regulatory procedures affecting energy projects
- RA 10931 Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act
- RA 10929 Free Internet Access in Public Places Act
- RA 10932 Strengthening the anti-hospital deposit law
- EOs: 1
- EO 33 Increasing employment compensation funeral benefits for employees in the private and public sectors
- AO 2 Authorizing the grant of gratuity pay to job order and contract of service workers in government
- RA 10932 Increasing penalties for hospitals for requiring deposit
- EO 4 Providing for the establishment and support of drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout the Philippines
- EO 12 Attaining and sustaining “zero unmet need for modern family planning” through the strict implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act
- EO 28 Regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices
- EO 26 Providing for the establishment of smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places
- EO 8 Amending further EO 120 (s. 2012), as amended by EO 187 (s. 2015), on the Bangsamoro Transition Commission
- EO 10 Creating a Consultative Committee to review the 1987 Constitution
- AO 9 Creating an Inter-agency Task Force for the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the City of Marawi and other affected localities