• Duterte scraps govt restrictions on foreign travels, purchase of vehicles


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has scrapped restrictions on foreign travels for government workers, as well as the purchase of vehicles by government agencies.

    This developed after the Chief Executive issued Administrative Order 6, repealing Administrative Order 103, which mandates all national government agencies, including state universities and colleges (SUCs), government-owned and-controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs), and other government corporate entities (OGCEs), their subsidiaries, and other instrumentalities under the Executive Department to adopt the following austerity measures:

    * suspension of foreign and local travels, except for ministerial meetings, and scholarship/trainings that are grant-funded or undertaken at no cost to the government;

    * suspension of purchase of any type of motor vehicles except ambulances and those required by the military and police; reducing the cost of hiring consultants, technical assistants, contractual, and casual employees by 10 percent.

    AO 103 also bans the conduct of celebrations and cultural or sports activities not related to the core function of the agency, except athletic competitions by public schools or SUCs.

    “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 AO No. 6 read.

    “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,” AO 6 said.

    It said, however, that existing laws, rules and regulations mandating the judicious and prudent use of government funds would remain in full force and effect, and that no “irregular, unnecessary, extravagant, excessive and uncomfortable and unconscionable expenses will be incurred by the government.”



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