Sunday, 25 April 2010

Palace names five officials to lead transition commitee

by Joyce Pangco Pañares
Manila Standard

THREE Cabinet officials will join the transition committee formed by President Gloria Arroyo to ensure a smooth turnover of power to the next president on June 30.

Presidential Management Staff director general Elena Bautista said National Economic and Development Authority director general Augusto Santos, Budget chief Joaquin Lagonera, and Press Secretary Crispulo Icban Jr. will form part of the transition committee.

Bautista said she expected the President to sign the administrative order organizing the committee next week.

A draft copy says Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza will serve as chairman while Bautista will be the vice-chairman.

Icban has already formed his own team that will spearhead the transition process at the Office of the Press Secretary.

Press Undersecretaries Rogelio Peyuan and Romeo Junia were designated chairman and co-chairman for the office’s transition team.

President Arroyo, who has already made a public call for election observers to monitor the conduct of the country’s first automated national polls on May 10, said ensuring a smooth transition was her most important legacy.

“There is no more important legacy than to leave the nation with a free and fair elections and a smooth transition to a new government. Our people deserve to have confidence that their vote counts and that our democracy works,” she said.

“Let us do everything to make sure the new president and his team hit the ground running when they assume office.’’

The transition committee is expected to plan the June 30 turnover ceremony, introduce career officials to the new president, inventory Palace property, and brief officials on Palace policies.

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