President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Five executive orders (EOs), 65 proclamations, five memorandum orders (MOs), six memorandum circulars (MCs), and one special order were signed while five bills were vetoed during President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s first 100 days in office.

The signing of executive issuances can be done in the exercise of the executive power or broader powers conferred by emergency or at particular periods, according to the Official Gazette.

Marcos’ first two and fifth EOs abolished certain offices and reorganized the bureaucracy.

EO 1 abolished the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS) to simplify the internal management of offices under the Office of the President (OP).

Under EO 1, the jurisdiction, powers, and functions of the PACC were transferred to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.

It also transferred the existing Cabinet Secretariat to the direct control and supervision of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).

EO 1 also gives the Executive Secretary supervision, control, and oversight functions over all agencies and offices under and attached to the OP.

The order also creates an Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military and Police Affairs which will be under the administration of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President.

Likewise, EO 2 reverted the Presidential Communications Operations Office to the Office (PCOO) of the Press Secretary (OPS).

APO Production Unit, Bureau of Broadcast Services, Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation, National Printing Office, News and Information Bureau (including the Philippines News Agency), and People's Television Network are now attached to the OPS.

Radio Television Malacañang, which was previously under the supervision of the now defunct PCOO, was placed under the direct supervision and control of PMS.

The Philippine Information Agency was placed under the direct supervision of the OP.

EO 5 transferred the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) from the Department of Trade and Industry to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to "rationalize the functional structures of agencies with complementary mandates."

Under the EO, the Labor Secretary will be the chairperson of the TESDA Board.

Relaxing mask mandate

On Sept. 12, Marcos issued EO 3 which allowed the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings, particularly in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.

However, not fully-vaccinated individuals, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear their masks.

Face masks must also continue to be worn in indoor private or public establishments including public transportation and settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The easing of mask requirements was lauded by various sectors, particularly in business and tourism, as helpful to spur economic recovery.

Moratorium on land amortization

To help agrarian reform beneficiaries in the country, Marcos issued EO 4 imposing a one-year moratorium on the payment and interest of land amortization.

The OP said around 654,000 ARBs are expected to benefit from the EO.

Marcos first announced this plan to unburden farmers of their debts during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.

“A moratorium will give the farmers the ability to channel their resources in developing their farms, maximizing their capacity to produce, and propel the growth of our economy,” Marcos said in his SONA on July 25.

Memorandum orders

Two MOs issued by Marcos allowed officials from the Duterte administration to continue in office in a holdover capacity until the end of the year to ensure there will be no interruption or disruption of their agencies' respective programs and activities.

MO 1 authorized Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. to stay in office in a holdover capacity until Dec. 31, or until his replacement has been appointed or designated, whichever comes first, unless he is reappointed in the meantime.

Likewise, MO 2 authorized Film Development Council (FDCP) chairperson and chief executive officer Liza Diño-Seguerra to continue in office in a holdover capacity until Aug. 7 or until her replacement has been appointed or designated.

Diño-Seguerra was eventually replaced by actor Tirso Cruz III.

In MO 3 and MO 5, Marcos deputized law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in connection with the Aug. 20 plebiscite to ratify the creation of Barangay New Canaan in Alabel, Sarangani Province and the Sept. 17 plebiscite to ratify the division of the province of Maguindanao into two distinct and independent provinces, respectively.

MO 6 authorized the implementation of a gender sensitivity training program and related activities for the human resources of OP Proper.

Memorandum circulars

Malacañang’s first memorandum circular (MC) under the Marcos administration declared vacant "certain positions in the departments, offices, agencies, and bureaus" in the executive department.

Under MC 1, all presidential appointees holding coterminous 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 occupying Career Executive Service positions and contractual or casual employees.

In the exigency of the service and to ensure the continuous and effective delivery of government services, vacancies 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 the memorandum circular.

Supplementing MC 1 is MC 3, which extended the term of office of designated OICs of departments, agencies, and bureaus until Dec. 31 this year.

MC 3 will "ensure the continuous and effective delivery of government services."

Meanwhile, MC 2 mandated strict compliance with the strengthened standards of complete staff work to enable the OP to adequately assess and indicate approval or disapproval of the proposal.

“The CSW 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,” the MC 2 read.

MC 4 constitutes a steering committee in support of the 55th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors from Sept. 26 to 30, 2022 and enjoining all government agencies to provide necessary assistance.

MC 5 and MC 6 suspends work in government offices and classes 

in public schools in all levels on Aug. 23 to 24, 2022, and Sept. 26, 2022 due to inclement weather brought about by Severe Tropical Storm Florita and Typhoon Karding, respectively.

Proclamations

Out of the 65 proclamations signed by Marcos, the most notable is Proclamation 57 which extends the period of state calamity throughout the Philippines due to Covid-19 until Dec. 31, 2022.

Marcos also enjoined all government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to continue rendering full assistance to and cooperation with each other and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response aid and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the threat of Covid-19.

Proclamation 2 declared July 9 a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid'l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice while Proclamation 33 declared a period of national mourning over the passing of former President Fidel V. Ramos from July 31, 2022, to Aug. 9, 2022. Ramos died on July 31, 2022.

Other proclamations declared special non-working days in certain municipalities, cities, and provinces.

Special orders

The only special order signed by Marcos so far was Special Order No. 75, which designates Vice President Sara Duterte as Officer-in-Charge during the former’s state visits to Indonesia and Singapore from Sept. 4 to 7.

Under the order, the Vice President was tasked to take care of day-to-day operations in the OP and oversee the general administration of the Executive Department.

Vetoed bills

In terms of legislation, Marcos vetoed five measures to ensure these were in line with the policies and plans of the administration.

A veto is a prerogative of the chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislative department from becoming law.

The vetoed laws include the establishment of the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone, the charter of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, grant of franchise to the Davao Light and Power Company, the Philippine Transportation Safety Board Act, and Exempting from Income Taxation the Honoraria, Allowance, and Other Financial Benefits of Persons Rendering Services During an Election Period.

After a veto, lawmakers can either refile the bill with or without amendments or override the president’s decision. (PNA)