Aquino abolishes anti-graft body
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 2) - President Benigno Aquino III has abolished the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and transferred its functions to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (ODESLA).
Aquino's Executive Order 13 states that the abolition is part of the administration’s “policy of streamlining the government bureaucracy to promote economy and efficiency in government."
"The PAGC is an example of the kind of redundancies we want to eliminate in government to allow us to better allocate our limited resources. It doesn’t make sense to have two or more government offices do the same thing," Executive Secetary Paquito Ochoa said Wednesday. "It's wasteful and inefficient."
The order was signed last November 15, Ochoa said.
Personnel that will be affected by the abolition will get benefits according to existing laws. Activities of the PAGC will be ended officially by December 31, 2010.
The PAGC was created to investigate and hear administrative cases and complaints against erring presidential appointees. It was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 12, which was signed on April 16, 2001.
Aquino earlier said the national government could do away with the office since its functions are already covered by the Office of the Ombudsman.
The PAGC was one of 120 offices under the Office of the President to get a zero budget in the proposed P1.645-trillion national budget for 2011.
The other offices under OP which did not receive funding for next year because they duplicate the functions of line agencies and departments include:
- Mindanao Development Council
- Office of the North Luzon Quadrangle Area
- Office of External Affairs
- Minerals Development Council
- Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group
- Luzon Urban Beltway Super Region
- Bicol River Basin Watershed Management Project
- Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change
- Office of the Presidential Adviser on New Government Centers
In addition to its Legal and Legislative Divisions, EO 13 creates the Investigative and Adjudicatory Division under ODESLA which shall be responsible for the investigative and adjudicative functions of the PAGC. With reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
The complete text of Executive Order 13 can be found at the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines website.