CA bypasses over a dozen Marcos appointees

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — Due to lack of time, the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday bypassed over a dozen appointees of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The officials whose ad interim appointments and nomination were bypassed are:

- Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno

- Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo

- Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles

- Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla

- Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan

- Human Settlements Secretary Jose Acuzar

- Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy

- Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople

- Science Secretary Renato Solidum Jr.

- Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual

- Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista

- Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan

- Commission on Audit Chairman Jose Calida

- Commission on Elections Commissioner Nelson Celis

Former Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez was included in the list of bypassed officials but he resigned from the post beforehand, and was replaced by former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin.

According to CA Chairperson and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, officials who were not confirmed will have to be reappointed by the President.

"All the Secretaries…who have not been confirmed will have to seek a reappointment by the President as they would all be considered bypassed," Zubiri said.

Zubiri said there was a “lack of material time” to tackle the appointments.

Initially, five CA panels were slated to go over five ad interim appointments.

The panels’ debates, however, were only able to tackle ad interim appointments of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Judicial and Bar Council member Nesauro Firme, and Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman by 2 p.m.

“If we pursued Sec. Tulfo and Bonoan, we would have finished at 7 p.m. and would have started the Senate session at 7:30 pa. Hindi pwede 'yan. (That cannot be). We cannot also sacrifice our work in the Senate," Zubiri said.

The Budget Secretary’s appointment was inserted due to Senator Grace Poe’s appeal which noted her efforts as Congress is looking into the 2023 national budget.

“It is actually with a heavy heart but I feel we are now delaying her hearing because of some other complications. If there are no questions that are too lengthy, I think we can appeal to the Senate President to tackle her appointment now,” Poe said.

According to the CA website, one who was issued an ad interim appointment may immediately enter upon the discharge of his functions. It will be invalid upon disapproval by the CA or, if not confirmed, until the next adjournment of Congress.

Whenever a nomination or appointment is confirmed, rejected or bypassed, a report on the CA's actions will be submitted to the Office of the President whenever Congress adjourns.

Both Houses of Congress are set to adjourn on Oct. 1. Session resumes on Nov. 7.