PACC abolition, reorganized offices good decision to simplify govt functions, says analyst

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 8) — The order of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to abolish the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and streamline operations in his office is an indication of a good management style to simplify government functions, a political analyst said on Friday.

Tony La Viña, a former dean of the Ateneo School of Government and a public official himself under the Ramos administration, told CNN Philippines' New Day that the President made a good decision to get rid of PACC, as there are multiple ways to make erring public officials accountable anyway.

"It's really a superfluous office," La Viña, a former environment undersecretary, said of the PACC.

"There's really no need for a Presidential Anti-Graft and Corruption office because that can be done by the Office of the Executive Secretary, they can immediately investigate," he said. "It's much faster that way without a commission."

La Viña continued: "I can't remember a single high presidential official that the PACC got rid of. I'm sure there must be but it just skipped my mind. That tells you it has been a superfluous office...this is not a necessary office, pang-drama lang siya (it's only there for drama) to be honest."

The PACC was created under the Duterte administration, via Executive Order No. 43, as a separate commission under the Office of the President.

It is "solely dedicated to providing assistance to the President in the investigation and hearing of administrative cases and complaints, and in the conduct of lifestyle checks and/or fact-finding inquiries concerning presidential appointees and other public officers allegedly involved in graft and corrupt practices."

Marcos had also ordered to abolish the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, and reorganize and rename the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to the Office of the Press Secretary.

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

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Secretariat, which assists the president in Cabinet meetings, will be supervised by the Presidential Management Staff.

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

"During the time of President (Fidel) Ramos, I was in the Cabinet and we just had the Presidential Management Staff to assist the Cabinet," La Viña noted. "I like the fact that the PMS was restored to its former glory in tandem with the Office of the Executive Secretary, Because in the end, that's really just what the President needs: a good executive secretary, and a really solid Presidential Management Staff."

"Everything else is palabok to be honest with you," he added. "This is good from the indication of a management style and a leadership style that's accountable to officials because that's really what you want. You don't want too many layers of government, including in Malacañang."

Former PACC commissioner Greco Belgica earlier told CNN Philippines that he respects the decision of Marcos to abolish the agency, hoping the new administration will boost its efforts to fight corruption.