EO reverting PCOO to OPS awaits Duterte’s signature

MANILA The executive order reverting the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to the Office of the Press Secretary is only awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said on Wednesday.

Andanar was commenting on the status of the proposed executive order he drafted, which will revert the PCOO to the OPS, similar to the 1986 structure where the press secretary was also the presidential spokesperson.

Last month, Andanar bared that he has re-submitted his proposal, which is currently being reviewed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

Ang draft executive order ay kasuluyan pang pinag-aaralan ng Office of the President. Pag napirmahan na ni Presidente, okay na 'yun (The draft executive order is currently being studied by the Office of the President. Once it is signed by the President, we can revert to the OPS), Andanar told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Di ko alam kung kelan ni Presidente gusto pero ang buong PCOO family ay handa sa transition (I'm not sure when the President wants it signed but the entire PCOO family is ready for the transition), he added.

Duterte earlier said Andanar may remain as "consultant" but did not clarify which agency he would work for.

Andanar was mum when asked about what role he will play when the PCOO is reverted to the OPS.

The PCOO chief said he submitted a proposed EO to revert PCOO to the OPS as early as 2016 but it only started to gain ground when Senate President Vicente Tito Sotto III raised the idea in a Senate hearing.

Earlier, Duterte asked former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to lead the OPS but the latter opted to join the 2019 Senate race.

At present, Salvador Panelo serves a dual function, that of the chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Duterte's Spokesperson.

During the previous administration, the OPS was reorganized into the PCOO, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) and Office of the Presidential Spokesperson.

In 2016, Duterte abolished the PCDSPO and transferred some of its functions to PCOO. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency