Rio on offer to quit from DICT: I've been sidelined, kept out of the loop
Department of Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. on Sunday said he offered to resign as he felt he was no longer needed in the department.
“As I have consistently said, the principal reason why I offered to resign was because I felt I was no longer needed in the Department. Considering that I have been sidelined and kept out of the loop for several months on the decision-making processes regarding vital national programs and projects under my functional areas of responsibility as Undersecretary for Operations, I have decided to offer my resignation to the President,” Rio said on his Facebook post.
“I could not in conscience continue to receive salary from taxpayers' pockets while not doing what I am capable of accomplishing. Simply put, I do not want to shortchange the Filipino people,” he added.
Rio reiterated he never said there was an anomaly involving the confidential funds of the DICT for his decision to quit from his post.
“As in fact, I have no first-hand knowledge on how they were used or spent. There is always the presumption of regularity in all government actions,” he said.
The Undersecretary said he trusts that DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II would take full responsibility for all of his actions regarding the confidential funds.
Rio said he is still waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte's instructions regarding his resignation.
“Truly, I serve at the President's pleasure. In the meantime, I have been designated last Friday by Secretary Honasan as Undersecretary for Operations in charge of National Broadband Backbone and Free Wifi In Public Places,” he said.
Pending the President's action, he said he is intends to fully make use of the "great opportunity" to continue to champion what the Department has started, such as the third telco, and common towers and passive telco infrastructure initiatives and the national broadband program.
“In fact, the phenomenal rise in committed investments in the ICT sector (518.8 Billion Pesos for first 10 months of 2019, as per BOI figures) which is almost equal to the investments of all other sectors combined for 2019 can be largely attributed to these policies and initiatives. This is DICT's contribution to the 'Build, Build Build' program of the Duterte Administration, with little or no cost to the government. We do not want this momentum to lose its steam,” Rio said.
“As a public servant for more than 42 years, I have always believed that to serve one's country is one's civic duty and an absolute privilege. In my case, it is now a lifetime advocacy. To shirk this responsibility, knowing I could still effect meaningful changes if given the chance, would be a great disservice to the nation,” he added.
In a radio interview, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte has yet to act on Rio's resignation letter. Ella Dionisio/DMS