IN KEEPING with his informal style, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all government offices to refrain from addressing him as “His Excellency” and Cabinet Secretaries as “Honorable” in all official communications, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters that Duterte’s directive was “in keeping with his populist Presidential style.”
“He encourages less ‘ceremonial communications,’” Abella said in a text message.
Duterte’s disdain for formality was in full view in Zamboanga City on Thursday, when he came out of his jet plane.
Saluting soldiers, he walked on the red carpet wearing a sports shirt embroidered with his moniker “DU30,” faded blue jeans, and white rubber shoes.
He was welcomed by Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco.
The Presidential directive to drop “His Excellency,” dated July 15, was contained in a memorandum issued Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
“As a matter of policy… the President shall be addressed in all official communication, events or materials as ‘President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’ only, and without the term ‘His Excellency,’” the memorandum read.
“All members of the Cabinet shall be addressed in all official communications submitted to the Office of the President as ‘Secretary’ only and without the term ‘Honorable,’” it added.
The directive also covers “government-owned and controlled corporations, government financial institutions and other instrumentalities of government.”
The memorandum, however, said that all government agencies and offices, upon their discretion may still use the term “Honorable” in addressing their respective heads of offices in their internal communication and documents.