Draft EO to bring back Office of the Press Secretary now with Office of Executive Secretary - Andanar
Presidential Communications Operations Office ( PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Monday that the draft executive order to bring back the PCOO to the Office of the Press Secretary is with the Office of the Executive Secretary.
Andanar said he has been pushing for this as he also expressed his willingness to accept a new post, such as the political affairs adviser.
He said as early as 2016, he made a proposal to revert to the OPS.
"I had the draft executive order given to Executive Secretary (Salvador) Bingbong Medialdea, but it was overtaken by events. And it's just great that Senate President (Vicente) Tito Sotto opened the possibility or gave the suggestion," he said in an interview at ANC.
In the budget hearing of the PCOO last week, Sotto proposed to bring back the name of the PCOO to OPS.
It was during the Aquino administration that the OPS was divided into two, the PCOO and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.
Andanar said when he assumed the Cabinet post, he merged the PCOO and PCDSPO.
He said they have been encouraging Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to defer his plan to run for the Senate in the 2019 midterm polls and accept President Rodrigo Duterte's offer for him to be the head of the OPS.
"We need Harry as the Spokesperson for the President, for the government. And in order for us to keep Harry as a Spokesperson, then we should offer him the Office of the Press Secretary since we are already dissolving the PCOO and reverting to the Office of the Press Secretary, plus the power of the Presidential Spokesperson ? this will be one office. And if that happens, then it’s just practical that Harry heads the entire agency," he said.
Roque has gone on a week-long leave starting on Monday to weigh his options.
Asked if Andanar was offered another post by the President, he confirmed it.
"But I will wait for the President to divulge the information. And you know, it’s difficult to say that I want this and I want that. We all work in the pleasure of the President," he said.
Further asked if the position offered to him is the political affairs, which will be vacated by Francis Tolentino who will run for the Senate next year, Andanar did not confirm, but said he could do the job.
"I’ve been a fan of political advisers. And it’s essentially talking to the different politicians throughout (the) country, the governors, the mayors, the congressmen, the senators; and creating that bridge that links between the Executive branch and the politicians...well, it’s a job that I think I can do," he said.
At least six Cabinet officials are said to be running in the May 2019 polls for senator and local posts.
Once they file their certificates of candidacy this month, they are deemed resigned. Celerina Monte/DMS