Rodriguez to head a new office, OPCOS; OES vacant

THE long-time lawyer of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos  Jr., Victor D. Rodriguez, is now the head of a new government office which was created after he resigned as Executive Secretary during the weekend.

Marcos issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 1, which created the Office of Presidential Chief of Staff (OPCOS), and then appointed Rodriguez to become the first-ever Presidential Chief of Staff (PCS) to lead it.

As PCS, Rodriguez will have the “rank and emoluments of a Cabinet Secretary.”

Press Secretary Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles said the OPCOS will be responsible for “the efficient and responsive day-to-day operational support of the Presidency” such as security monitoring and coordinating with presidential advisers.

“The OPCOS will also supervise and coordinate closely with the PMS [Presidential Management Staff] as the primary government agency directly responsible for providing substantive staff assistance in the Presidential exercise of the overall management of the development process,” Angeles said in a statement.

The staff of the OPCOS come from the ranks of government personnel from abolished agencies such as the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

Marcos has been abolishing unnecessary government offices to reduce bureaucracy and unnecessary expenses.

Rodriguez said on Saturday his decision to resign as the so-called “little president” stemmed from his desire to be more involved with his family.

“I have asked permission from the President to step down as executive secretary effective immediately. I thank the President for his continuing trust and his sincere understanding of my decision,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

Rodriguez said the work of an Executive Secretary is “a 24/7 job with myriad topics expected to be attended to everyday that demands a sense of urgency which essentially requires almost all public servants’ time to ensure that services are met and delivered.”

“Equally valuable, however, is to witness firsthand your young family grow and evolve into how every parent would wish them to become and they most need me too,” he said.

With Rodriguez’s stepping down as Executive Secretary, he was appointed by the President as Presidential Chief of Staff (PCS), a new position created by Administrative Order No. 1, signed over the weekend by the Chief Executive.

The draft Special Order, which sought additional functions to what was already provided under A.O. No. 1, was disapproved by President Marcos based on the recommendation of his Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile.

The newly created Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff (OPCOS) will be under the direct supervision of the President.

“The OPCOS shall have the primary function of supervising and ensuring the efficient and responsive day-to-day operational support to the Presidency to enable the President to focus on strategic national concerns,” read the A.O. No. 1, which took effect immediately.

Signed this week by the President, the Administrative Order provides for the PCS to have the rank and emoluments of a Cabinet secretary.

“The PCS will be assisted by a senior deputy chief of staff with the rank of secretary and two deputy chiefs of staff with rank of undersecretary, assistant secretaries and such number of directorial and other administrative staff as he deems necessary and upon the approval of the President,” read A.O. No. 1.

The immediate staff of the PCS will come from abolished agencies such as the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

Rodriguez will immediately assume his new position as PCS. This, in effect, will leave vacant the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES).  

There are names now being considered for the position of executive secretary and these names are now under the process of vetting by the Office of the President.

Image credits: Atty. Vic Rodriguez/Facebook