PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has designated Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as government caretaker while he is in Singapore to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
Duterte signed Special Order 371 on Thursday but was released to media on Friday.
“To ensure continuity of government service, it is necessary to designate an Officer-In-Charge (OIC) to take care of the day-to-day operations in the Office of the President and oversee the general administration of the Executive Department,” Duterte said in his order.
The President left the country on Thursday on board a “borrowed” private jet. He will join other Asean leaders on Friday and Saturday for their 32nd summit, which Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will host.
Apart from attending the Asean Opening ceremony and Leaders’ Retreat on April 28, Duterte is expected to have a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister Lee on the sidelines of the summit.
A possible meeting is also being worked out between Duterte and his counterparts from Indonesia, Mynamar or Vietnam.
Duterte is also expected to meet with members of the business community in Singapore to invite them to invest in the country, as well as members of the Filipino community there to check on their situations and update them on the developments in the country.
The President is expected to return to the country late Saturday night, April 28. CATHERINE S. VALENTE