Citing personal reasons, Executive Secretary Victor D. Rodriguez has officially resigned from his post in the Cabinet.
This was confirmed by Press secretary Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles in a statement last Saturday.
“We confirm reports that Atty. Vic Rodriguez has stepped down as Executive Secretary,” Angeles said.
In his Facebook page, Rodriguez said he asked President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. that he be removed from his current post and be assigned as President Chief of Staff instead.
“I have asked permission from the President to step down as executive secretary effective immediately. I thank the President for his continuing trust and his sincere understanding of my decision,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
He noted being Executive Secretary is a demanding position, which requires “24/7 job with myriad topics expected to be attended to every day that demands a sense of urgency which essentially requires almost all public servants’ time to ensure that services are met and delivered.”
Rodriguez then stressed the importance of witnessing “firsthand your young family grow and evolve into how every parent would wish them to become and they most need me too.”
Angeles said the President approved Rodriguez’s request and appointed him Presidential Chief of Staff (PCS), which was just created through Administrative Order (AO) No. 1, which was signed and took effect immediately during the weekend.
Under AO 1, the Office of Presidential Chief of Staff (OPCOS), which will be led by Rodriguez, will be under the Office of the President (OP).
The functions of OPCOS will include “the efficient and responsive day-to-day operational support of the Presidency to enable the President to focus on strategic national concerns” including security monitoring and coordinating with presidential advisers.
“The PCS will be assisted by a senior deputy chief of staff with the rank of secretary and two deputy chiefs of staff with rank of undersecretary, assistant secretaries and such number of directorial and other administrative staff as he deems necessary and upon the approval of the President,” A.O. No. 1 further read.
Angeles said the functions of the PCS will come from the abolished agencies including the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.
To note, Marcos has been abolishing unnecessary government offices to reduce bureaucracy and unnecessary expenses.
Meanwhile, the Office of Executive Secretary, which is now vacant, will continue to have supervision, control and oversight function over all agencies and offices, which are under the OP.
“There are now names being considered for the position of executive secretary and these names are now under the process of vetting by the Office of the President,” Angeles said.
Rodriguez’s resignation comes days after the Senate minority bloc tagged him as liable in the unauthorized Sugar Order (SO) fiasco, which led to the resignation of several agriculture officials.
The members of the said bloc–Senate Minority Aquilino Pimentel III and Senator Risa Hontiveros–said Rodriguez should be partly blamed for the issue since he admitted during Senate hearings that he refused to reply to questions of Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio S. Sebastian related to the SO.
Image credits: Senate PRIB