CA confirms 4 Cabinet members, 4 envoys
MANILA, Dec. 7 (PNA) -- The Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed on Wednesday the ad interim appointments of four Cabinet members of President Rodrigo Duterte and four ambassadors.
The newly-confirmed four Cabinet secretaries include Rodolfo Salalima of Department of Information and Communications Technology; Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo of Tourism; Fortunato T. Dela Pena of Science and Technology; and, Ernesto Pernia of Socio-Economic Planning and National Economic Development Authority.
On the other hand, the four ambassadors are Jose C. Laurel V to Japan, Uriel Norman Robles Garibay to Kenya, Jose Santiago Sta. Romana to South Korea and Mongolia, and Shirley Ho-Vicario to Nigeria.
Aside from his Kenya post, Garibay will have concurrent jurisdiction over Burundi, Comoros, Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan; and as permanent representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat).
Vicario will also have concurrent jurisdiction over Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote D’lvoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabonese Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Republic of Guniea, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togolese.
Meanwhile, the CA rescheduled the deliberations of the ad interim appointment of Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean Rusell-Ubial upon request of Rep. Harry Roque.
"Secretary Ubial’s appointment was not tackled because congressman Harry Roque has opposition," House Majority Leader Rodolfo Albano III said in media interview. Roque was absent.
During the CA committee on transportation and communications deliberations, Salalima allayed fears that his appointment as first DICT secretary would have conflict of interest considering he previously handled high position in the Globe Telecommunication Company.
"I’m a lawyer. I’m cognizant of the law. I took my oath before the President. Rest assured that I will do my best to comply with my responsibility as head of the DICT. My employer now is the government and the Filipino people," Salalima, schoolmate of President Rodrigo Duterte at San Beda College of Law, said.
Salalima vowed to work for the construction of more cell sites particularly in the countryside to meet the demands of more than 64 million mobile phone users in the country.
He also promised to address the internet speed by proposing a national broadband plan where government plans to invest Php75 billion in the next two to three years.
On the part of Teo, the DOT lady secretary denied a blind item alleging that she asked for two pairs of designer shoes, shopping privileges and 150 tickets for a musical from a big shopping mall.
"It is not me. Honestly, I can face you all. I am not aware of this and definitely, it is not me in the Department of Tourism," Teo said, assuring that her office is investigating the allegation.
During the panel deliberations, Teo also assured that the DOT is on track of meeting six million foreign tourists target by year end.
Teo also promised to address the concerns aired by Congressman Joel Mayo Alamario and Sen. Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV regarding the lack tourist destination signage throughout the country.
Aquino also suggested to put up DOT-accredited rest rooms in the strategic places frequently visited by the local and foreign tourists.
On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto praised the appointment of Pernia, describing him as the right choice of President Duterte to manage the country’s economy under the 10-point socio-economic agenda.
"And on this, I can say, without any reservation, Mr. President, that there is no more qualified person to draft the roadmap than the esteemed Dr. Pernia, a first- rate intellectual and a patriot first-class,” Recto said.
All the nominees have been confirmed by the CA without opposition both at the committee and plenary deliberations.
Meanwhile, the CA accepted the appointment of Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara as its new member. (PNA)