PURISIMA TO DOF OFFICIALS:

Wrap up DOF policy turnover to Dominguez

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Outgoing Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has asked all officials of the Department of Finance (DOF) to complete the staff work and present clear policy actions to the team of incoming Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, in order for the new Administration to review, revise, and finalize ongoing work according to its policy priorities.

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The policy actions, the DOF said in a statement on Thursday, include discussions on the deficit and other programmed budget amounts, which are ongoing within the executive technical board (RTB) of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) for providing policy guidance stability and clarity in the remaining period of the Aquino presidency.

Purisima’s directive also covers the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) that the DOF is tasked to develop, and the ongoing work on comprehensive tax reform studies.

The agency said that as discussed by both parties’ teams working in close coordination, Purisima instructed the DOF to let Dominguez review in advance and approve—upon the beginning of the new Administration’s term— the issuance of the IRRs for the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, Tax Incentives Monitoring and Transparency Act, as well as the Microfinance NGOs Act.

Purisima said he believes that Dominguez, who will be responsible for implementing these laws as the next finance chief, ought to have a say in the related IRRs being finalized.

“When we in the DOF say public service is a relay race, we mean it: we don’t drop the baton when our time is up only for the next team to start over. Operationalizing professionalism means that our job until the end of June is to make life as easy as possible for the incoming team to hit the ground running on day one,” he said.

The outgoing secretary hoped that the DOF could set a gold standard in institutional professionalism in the midst of leadership changes.

Team meetings

After their one-on-one meeting on May 20, Purisima’s team has met with Dominguez’ transition team a number of times, with many more meetings planned throughout June, sorted per management cluster and attached agency.

To date, the DOF said the Administration, Revenue, Liability Management and Capital Markets Development, as well as the Government-owned and -Controlled Corporations, Privatization, and Corporate Affairs Clusters have all met with Dominguez’ transition team, holding discussions on their respective operational landscapes including organizational structure, updates on key results areas, ongoing operations, key learnings, as well as opportunities and challenges.

Purisima’s team has also handed to Dominguez’ team a comprehensive manual of key information about the DOF as well as an updated fiscal and economic data book for their perusal.

He also instructed his team to accommodate all other information or data requests, and to align all pending policy actions with incoming Secretary Dominguez’ priorities.

“We hope to give the incoming economic team all the information and resources they need to have an even more successful six years than we had. Their success is our success,” Purisima added.

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