President Rodrigo Duterte has scrapped restrictions on foreign and local travels for state workers, saying the government is in better fiscal state now and no longer has to scrimp.
Duterte issued Administrative Order (AO) 6 that repeals Administrative Order 103 that mandated all government agencies, including state universities and colleges (SUCs), government-owned and-controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs), and other government corporate entities, their subsidiaries and other instrumentalities to suspend foreign and local travels except for ministerial meetings and scholarship/trainings that are grant-funded or undertaken at no cost to the government. The repealed order also stopped the purchase of vehicles and required agencies to reduce the hiring of consultants, technical assistants, contractual and casual employees.
AO 103 mandated the adoption of a scheme that will allow employees rendering overtime work to be compensated through time/days off work in lieu of overtime pay.
“The country’s fiscal condition from the time AO No. 103 took effect has already significantly improved due to public expenditure management reforms, tax administration reforms, as well as sound and prudent debt management,” the new order said. “With the country’s improved fiscal situation, the government could, among other initiatives, increased infrastructure and social spending implement public expenditure management reforms with greater intensity, streamline government operations, and make public service delivery more efficient in order to give the Filipino people the best value for their taxes.”
Duterte said AO 6 is “aligned with the strategies of the Philippines Development Plan from 2017 to 2022 which provides for the formulation and implementation of public expenditure management reforms that will improve budget utilization and address underspending of government agencies.”