PCOO vows to release gov’t execs’ SALNs, Mocha’s travel expenses
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Wednesday vowed to release publicly the most-requested documents from the Executive department, including government officials’ Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
“We will recommend to the OP (Office of the President) to proactively disclose the SALN of the government officials,” Communications Assistant Kris Ablan said in a press briefing.
The OP is the depository of SALNs of Cabinet members and other ranking officials in the Executive department.
Ablan said that in the current set-up, citizens need to file a request through the Freedom of Information (FOI) portal, https://www.foi.gov.ph/, before they are released.
“So right now, yes, kailangan mag-request pa ang citizens for the SALN because there is a project with the Ombudsman to have the e-SALN as well as to revitalize the review compliance committee of all agencies,” he said.
“You see, when people or government officials like me and government workers submit their SALN, it has to pass through a review compliance committee in the agency to make sure that the submission is correct. So we’re fine-tuning that and after it’s fine-tuned, then citizens can request for the SALN,” he added.
The assistant secretary explained that the government’s FOI program, the departments should take note of the most requested documents by the public so they could easily release the information.
In the past administration, however, the OP used to release immediately the Cabinet members’ SALNs to the media, as well as former President Benigno Aquino III, which were released the same day the former chief executive leaves the country.
Ablan also said the agency would release this month the travel expenses of Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson as public attention on government officials’ overseas trips grows.
Uson’s travel expenses were a subject of a pending FOI request, Ablan said.
“For that assistant secretary—should I say… For Assistant Secretary Uson, we’ve released information on her budget and her accomplishment. For the travel expenses, it’s a pending FOI request,” Ablan said in the same press briefing.
Uson has been joining President Rodrigo Duterte’s travels abroad, the most recent of which was his trip to India for the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean)-India meeting.
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