Palace formally orders courtesy resignation of all holdover presidential appointees

MANILA — Malacañang on Monday formally called for the courtesy resignations of all presidential appointees appointed by past administrations with the exception of those from the Judiciary, Constitutional bodies and career officials as defined by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Under Memorandum Circular No. 4 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, all holdover presidential appointees are directed to hand in their “unqualified courtesy resignation” within seven days upon issuance of the order.

The order was issued to give President Rodrigo Duterte a free hand in achieving his objective of ridding the bureaucracy of corruption.

Exempted from the order are newly-appointed Cabinet Secretaries, Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries including presidential advisers or assistants with equivalent ranks.

Also exempted are other officials of the Executive Department including state universities and colleges (SUCs) as well as government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) appointed by President Duterte.

Career Civil Service officials as well as officials of offices created by virtue of the Philippine Constitution like Constitutional Commissions, the Ombudsman and the like are likewise exempted.

Meanwhile, presidential appointees in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) shall be dealt with separately.

As per directed, courtesy resignations shall be submitted to the Heads of Departments or Offices exercising supervision or control over the appointee copy furnished to the President thru the Executive Secretary.

In the case of GOCCs, courtesy resignations shall be submitted respectively exercising supervision over them; otherwise to the Office of the President thru the Executive Secretary.

Only the President, or the Executive Secretary by authority of the President, may act on courtesy resignations taking into consideration the recommendations of the department or agency head concerned and in accordance with existing laws and jurisprudence.

Until any action on their courtesy resignation is taken by the President, appointive officials shall continue to report for work and perform their normal duties and responsibilities.

In the event that the President accepts the resignation of the head of an agency or GOCC, MC No. 4 stipulates that his/her deputy or other next-in-rank shall act as Officer-in-Charge of the agency or GOCC concerned until a replacement is duly appointed by the President.

In the absence of a next-in-rank official, the most senior career official will act as OIC.

Any presidential appointee covered by the Circular who fails or refuses to tender his/her courtesy resignation without a valid reason in the prescribed time period may be held administratively liable and meted with the appropriate penalty.

In the meantime, the Circular likewise enjoined all government officials and employees, particularly in offices performing regulatory, investigatory, adjudicatory and licensing functions, whether appointed by the President or not, including officials of local government units, to comply strictly with ethical norms of honesty, integrity, efficiency and fidelity to the people they are sworn to serve and protect. Cielito Reganit/PNA/