Palace halts public release of copies of appointment papers; up to appointees to disclose
Malacanang has refrained from releasing to the public the appointment papers of appointed officials in government.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this is now the policy of his office.
"Before, we posted it (appointment paper), but now our policy in OPS (Office of the Presidential Spokesperson) is it's up to the appointed official to post it if they want. We just confirmed that an appointment has been made," he said.
Asked if his office could retain the policy of releasing the appointment papers, Roque said, "I’ll ask the Executive Secretary because apparently it’s the Executive Secretary (Salvador Medialdea) that said that it’s enough we confirm appointments. We don’t have to post appointment papers."
Roque made the statement after new Philippine Health Insurance Corp. president and CEO Dante Gierran, in the "Laging Handa" press briefing earlier in the day, said that he had no appointment paper yet when he was asked about the update on President Rodrigo Duterte's order to reshuffe the PhilHealth's regional vice presidents.
In the case of Gierran, Roque said his office did not confirm his appointment since it was Duterte himself who announced that the former director of the National Bureau of Investigation would be the new head of PhilHealth.
Roque said even if his office does not release copies of the appointment papers, there can still be transparency.
"There's still transparency because we confirm the appointments," he added.
When Duterte assumed office in 2016, his second executive order was to operationalize in the executive branch the people's constitutional right to information and the state policies to full public disclosure and transparency in public service.
However, observers said that compared to the previous administrations, securing public documents apparently became more difficult under the current government despite its policy on the freedom of information. Celerina Monte/DMS