Presidential appointees are not covered by a Civil Service Commission order prohibiting government officials having dual citizenship from being appointed into government positions.
Joyce Reano, Nayong Pilipino Foundation spokesperson, said this after the qualifications of NPF chair, Patricia Ocampo, a Philippine and US passport holder, were questioned by some quarters and claimed that she violated the CSC order.
During a press briefing at the NPF in Manila yesterday, Reano said Ocampo and the other members of the board of trustees are presidential appointees who do not need CSC approval in their appointments to their respective posts. It is only the President, who appointed them, that can remove them from office, Reano added.
Presidential appointees like Ocampo “all serve at the pleasure of the President,” Reano said.
The prohibition is contained in CSC Memorandum Circular No. 23 in which it is required that “a person with dual citizenship shall not be appointed in the government unless he or she renounces his or her foreign citizenship pursuant to Republic Act No. 9225.”
The order was issued to clarify the provisions of Republic Act No. 9225 on its applicability to both elective and appointive government officials.
But the term “appointive officials” does not cover those appointed by the President “by name,” as clearly, the CSC does not have jurisdiction over qualifications of directors and appointees of government owned- and -controlled corporations, Reano said.
This was further clarified by the CSC Assistant Commissioner Ariel G. Ronquillo, an expert in public service law, who said that “appointees named by the President are not covered by the CSC order,” Reano said.
Ronquillo said: “Regarding the jurisdiction of the CSC, it’s in the law also that only non-presidential appointees are under us. So it’s only the appointments of these people which the CSC can invalidate or disapprove.”
The board of trustees also did not violate a travel prohibition on government officials when they traveled to Korea in September last year, Reano said. “No public funds were expended in that trip to Korea,” she stressed.
Reano said that since the underlying rationale to imposing travel restrictions on public officials is to prevent the wasteful and improvident disbursement of public funds, when no public funds are involved, the subject travel could not be covered by the travel restriction, which suspended all foreign travels of government officials unless they secure a clearance from the Office of the President.
The travel restriction, contained in Administrative Order No. 103-2004, was repealed by President Duterte in Administrative Order No. 6 on Sept. 19, 2017, Reano added.