Then PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar (left) and current Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles (right) (File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., through an executive order (EO), has ordered the reorganization of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and its attached agencies, as well as its renaming as the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS).

Under EO 2 inked on June 30, the OPS shall be headed by a Press Secretary which shall have an Assistant Secretary with support staff of not more than 20 personnel.

The issuance of EO 2 came the same day when Marcos, as well as Press Secretary Rose Beatrix "Trixie" Cruz-Angeles took their oath of office.

Cruz-Angeles confirmed Thursday the issuance of EO 2 which takes effect immediately.

EO 2 repeals EO 4 and EO 111 inked in 2010 and 2020, respectively.

EO 4 creates the PCOO while EO 111 reconstitutes the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson and abolishes the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.

"There is a need to rationalize and consolidate the communications arm of the Administration for a more efficient delivery of public policy to the general public," EO 2 said.

The OPS personnel will be appointed by Cruz-Angeles and approved by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez "in the exigency of service and in accordance with civil service law and rules," according to the new EO.

In addition, there shall be undersecretaries for Operations, Plans and Policies; Administration, Finance and Procurement; Legal Affairs; Media Accreditation and Relations; Digital Media Services; Print Media Services, and related government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and attached agencies; and Special Concerns.

Each undersecretary shall have assistant secretaries and support staff.

OPS powers and functions

EO 2 states that the OPS has the authority to "pronounce, on behalf of the President, matters pertaining to his actions, policies, programs, official activities, and accomplishments.

The OPS is also tasked to develop and implement necessary guidelines and mechanisms pertaining to the delivery and dissemination of information on policies, programs, official activities, and achievements of the President and the Executive Branch.

It is likewise mandated to coordinate the crafting and development of the messaging system under the Office President (OP) and the Executive Branch, as well as to supervise its attached agencies and GOCCs for purposes of further strengthening the system of information delivery to the public.

The EO also directs the OPS to establish and maintain rapport with private media and other similar entities and stakeholders.

Abolished divisions and units

According to the EO, all existing divisions and units of the PCOO shall be organized and reorganized under the areas of concern of the undersecretaries of the OPS.

"All redundant positions, divisions, and units, as may be determined by the OP, shall be abolished," the order read.

EO 2 also orders the abolition of the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson and the transfer of its permanent personnel, equipment, and functions to the OPS.

Attached agencies, bureaus and offices

APO Production Unit, Bureau of Broadcast Services, Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation, National Printing Office, News and Information Bureau, and People's Television Network shall be attached to the OPS for purposes of "supervision, control, and budget clustering," based on the EO.

Radio Television Malacañang, which was previously under the supervision of the then PCOO, shall be placed under the direct supervision and control of the Presidential Management Staff.

On the other hand, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) shall be under the direct supervision of the OP.

"The PIA shall absorb the following offices previously under the control and supervision of the PCOO: Bureau of Communications Services; Freedom of Information-Program Management Office; and Good Governance Office," EO 2 said.

The PIA, the EO provides, shall continue to be headed by a Director-General, with the rank of Undersecretary, and shall be entitled to four Deputy Directors-General with the rank, salary, and emoluments of Assistant Secretary, and four Assistant Directors-General with the rank, salary, and emoluments of Director IV.

The PIA Deputy and Assistant Directors-General shall be entitled to their respective support staff, while the Deputy Directors-General and Assistant Directors-General shall support the plans, programs, and policies of the PIA and the OP in developing communications and various priority thrusts.

The Divisions and Regional Offices of the PIA shall each be headed by a Director II, to be appointed by the Director-General, subject to existing civil service rules.

"The Director-General, Deputy Directors-General, Assistant Directors-General, and Directors II positions shall be included in the plantilla positions and shall be considered for eligibility and ranking under the Career Executive Service regulations," the order read.

All concerned offices shall cause for the rationalization of staffing patterns, subject to the approval of the Department of Budget and Management.

The budget of the reorganized offices shall be sourced from the remaining budget of the PCOO, its attached agencies, and the OP, for the current year. The succeeding years' appropriation for the said offices shall be prepared in accordance with regular government budget procedures.

All agencies shall continue to discharge their respective functions and responsibilities as defined under existing laws or issuances. (PNA)