Bongbong Marcos abolishes PACC, Office of Cabinet Secretary; reorganizes PCOO

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 7) — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Thursday issued his first two executive orders abolishing the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, and reorganizing and renaming the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to the Office of the Press Secretary.

Executive Order No. 1 said the administration will streamline the processes in the Office of the President and abolish "duplicated and overlapping official functions" as the country faces health and fiscal crises.

PACC was created by former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017 after he threatened to investigate then-Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for looking into the first family's wealth.

With the abolition of PACC, its anti-corruption functions will now fall under the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.

The Cabinet Secretariat, which assists the president in Cabinet meetings, will be supervised by the Presidential Management Staff led by Naida Angping.

Section 7 of the order also states that the Presidential Adviser on Military and Police Affairs will be under the administration of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, which is headed by former Davao del Norte congressman Antonio Lagdameo Jr.

All affected personnel may be allowed to avail of benefits, if applicable. The Department of Budget and Management was directed to release the corresponding funds.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Final Word, former PACC commissioner Greco Belgica said he respects the decision of Marcos to abolish the agency, hoping the new administration will boost its efforts to fight corruption.

Belgica explained the PACC was established by the Duterte administration to free up numerous tasks assigned to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, particularly in handling corruption cases in the government.

"If we want to strengthen our economy, it is directly related and connected to the anti-corruption campaign. The money from the projects that go to corruption will now go to the government revenues and projects. That's what happened during our time with PACC," said Belgica, who, if asked, expressed his willingness to help the Marcos administration in its anti-corruption initiatives.

From PCOO to Office of Press Secretary

Marcos also ordered for PCOO to be reorganized and renamed as the Office of the Press Secretary, which is led by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles.

This will effectively abolish the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson. Marcos previously said he will not appoint a presidential spokesperson and he will opt for a press secretary and face the media himself.

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

The chief executive also ordered that the Philippine Information Agency must be strengthened under the direct supervision of the Office of the President.