Palace issues foreign trips guidelines

MANILA — Malacañang released on Wednesday directives to all government officials and personnel in the executive department applying for foreign travels.

The memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was issued in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign to cut down extravagant and lavish foreign trips.

According to the new foreign trips guidelines, government officials and personnel will not be allowed to have official foreign trips that do not satisfy all three minimum criteria:
1. The purpose of the trip is strictly within the mandate of the requesting government officials or personnel;
2. The projected expenses for the trip are not excessive; and,
3. The trip is expected to bring substantial benefit to the country.

The directives also provide that no government official or personnel shall be allowed to depart for any travel abroad “unless such official or personnel has obtained the appropriate travel authorization from his/her agency, has duly accomplished the requisite leave forms, and his/her absence shall not hamper the operational efficiency of said agency.”

The heads of agencies authorized to approve foreign trips shall submit every end of the quarter all travel authorities and documents to the Office of the President through the Executive Secretary.

“All heads of agencies are directed to strictly enforce the requirement on submission of reports with appropriate recommendations,” the memorandum said.

In case of participation in an international conference or convention abroad, where the Philippines is represented by a delegation, a report of the delegation shall be submitted to the President through the Secretary of Foreign Affairs within 30 days.

“Failure to comply with above directives may result in the filing of administrative actions for misconduct, insubordination, and other related offenses under the Civil Service Commission Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service and/or relevant laws, rules, and regulations against the travelling official/personnel, as well as the official who unduly endorsed or approved his/her travel authority or who failed to submit the list required, herein,” Medialdea noted in the memorandum.

The memorandum covers all department secretaries and heads of agencies, government-owned and/or controlled corporations (GOCCS) and government financial institutions (GFIs).

According to the directives, the requirement to submit a quarterly list of travel authorities issued shall also be observed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government with regard to foreign travels of local government officials. Jelly Musico/PNA –