By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
President Duterte has banned government officials under the Executive branch, with the exception of diplomats, from travelling abroad effective Jan. 1.
Duterte said he has ordered Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to prepare and issue the directive implementing his order.
“Kaya Jan. 1, sabi ko kay Medialdea – Well, I do not want to interfere with Congress and the Supreme Court, inyo ‘yan. Dito sa akin, no travel now. I’ll cut it o whatever. Except the diplomats, ‘yung mga ambassador,” Duterte said during the commissioning of two new Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ships and the launching of the Department of Agriculture Rice-Corn Blend Program in Davao City.
Duterte said government can avoid wasting and save taxpayer’s money by reducing uneccesary overseas travels. “Mag-starvation diet muna tayo diyan. Every time you go out you spend per diems and then hotels plus the fare,” he said.
Duterte said he will start reviewing the travel records and look for government officials who frequently leave the country.
“I’ll look for plenty of victims. Ipatingin ko lahat. ‘Yung lahat na every month nag-travel, you go. I do not need you in the Executive department,” Duterte said.
However, Duterte said a government official may travel aboard for personal reasons. “Well, if it’s personal reason, namatay ka ng tito mo, mother then it’s alright. O ‘yung isang asawa mo namatay doon, ‘di hayaan mo na lang. Magdasal ka na tuloy. T*** i** nauubos ‘yung pera,” he added.
Duterte also said government officials frequently travelling abroad slow down government services as they are unavailable to serve the public.
“Hindi ko nilalahat. Mostly sa Manila, mga deadwoods. Ang mga tao magpunta doon, maghanap ng… magpirma wala niyan.
Pagbalik ka bukas, wala diyan. P***, pagdating dito, nandoon sa abroad,” he said.
“Tingnan mo ang record, they spent 7, 8, 9, 10 times going abroad. You save the money of the people for a flimsy reason to go there. Kaya umiinit ang ulo ko.”
Duterte has fired several government officials under the Executive department for making unnecessary and unauthorized trips abroad.
Among them were former Dangerous Drugs Board chairperson Dionisio Santiago and the chairperson and commissioners of the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor. Santiago and Ridon have denied making unnecessary foreign trips.