1ST PRESS BRIEFING. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. holds first press conference as the country’s 17th President at the Malacañang Palace on Tuesday (July 5, 2022). Marcos said he has given his Cabinet secretaries a "free hand" to streamline their respective departments and offices. (Office of the President photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he has given his Cabinet a "free hand" to streamline their respective departments and offices.

Marcos, in his first press conference as the country's 17th president at Malacañan Palace, said he has directed the Cabinet members to provide the public "better" and "more efficient" government services.

Marcos said he would let the Cabinet secretaries exercise their jurisdiction to choose their personnel and initiate reforms within their respective agencies.

"As we attend to immediate concerns, we are also trying to streamline the government so its function is better, its function is much more efficient," he said. "Let’s get our bureaucracy streamlined. I gave them --- I said I will not... [I tell them], 'I give you a relatively free hand in deciding who you want to hire and how you want to change the structure of your department, if indeed that’s what you want to do."

He gave the directive to make it "easier, simpler, safer, and more secure" to transact with the government.

Marcos said he has instructed his Cabinet to make the changes as soon as possible, stressing that they have to "get to work immediately."

"We have to realize how interconnected all the government is. That everything that’s done on one hand, affects the government in another place, sometimes not to its advantage. So we have to be careful about doing all of that properly," he said.

On June 30, Malacañang issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 1, declaring vacant some of the government posts and items under the Executive department.

Under MC 1 signed by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez by authority of Marcos, all presidential appointees holding co-terminus appointments, as well as those occupying posts created in excess of the authorized staffing pattern, are deemed separated from office effective noontime of June 30, the time when Marcos took oath as the country’s 17th president.

Also deemed separated from service are non-Career Executive Service Officials (CESO) occupying Career Executive Service (CES) positions and contractual or casual employees.

In the exigency of the service and to ensure the continuous and effective delivery of government services, vacancy in the heads of departments, offices, agencies, and bureaus where no replacement has been appointed shall be filled up by the next-in-rank and most senior official as Officer-in-Charge (OIC), according to MC 1.

Rodriguez also issued MC 2, mandating the strict compliance with the strengthened standards of complete staff work (CSW).

The CSW, based on MC 2, is to be undertaken for the processing and evaluation of requests for Presidential issuances, authorization and other approvals to ensure compliance with such form and substance. (PNA)