PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has designated Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as government caretaker while he is in Vietnam to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
The President issued Special Order 993 on Tuesday designating Medialdea as Officer-In-Charge (OIC) to ensure continuity of government service during his visit to Vietnam from November 8 to 11.
“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,” the order read.
If necessary, Medialdea is authorized to act for and on behalf of Duterte except on matters the President was required by the Constitution to act in person.
All government departments and agencies have been directed to assist Medialdea in the discharge of his functions.
Duterte will leave Wednesday afternoon for Da Nang, Vietnam. He is scheduled to meet with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the APEC meetings.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it was also arranging other bilateral meetings for Duterte, including meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The President has named Medialdea government caretaker several times in some of his foreign trips.
These are when Duterte went to Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam (twice), Brunei, China, Thailand (twice), Malaysia, Peru, New Zealand, Cambodia, HongKong, Singapore, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar, China (twice), and Peru.
One of the occasions where Medialdea was not caretaker was during Duterte’s first trip to Japan in October 2016, when the executive secretary was part of the President’s entourage.
Duterte created a caretaker panel made up of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Acting Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, and Undersecretary Jesus Melchor Quitain.
Another was when the President went to Moscow where he formed a caretaker committee composed of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Environment Acting Secretary Roy Cimatu, Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy director general Ramon Colet Apolinario, and Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, in his capacity as acting executive secretary. Medialdea was also part of the President’s entourage at that time.