No permit, no overseas travel rule for gov’t officials tightened



MANILA, Philippines—Government officials and employees will not be allowed to leave the country without an authority to travel, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Friday.

“Do not blame or fault us if you miss your flight. We are just complying with the law,” Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David said, explaining that the rule is based on several administrative issuances by Malacañang.

David’s statement came after some government officials and local executives questioned the propriety of requiring them to secure permits to travel abroad.

The late President Corazon Aquino was the first chief executive to issue a rule outlining the procedures in the filing of requests to travel abroad by government officials and employees through Executive Order No. 6.

This was followed by Memorandum Circular No. 18 which was issued by then President Fidel Ramos on Oct. 27, 1992 clarifying some of the rules and regulations on the overseas travel of government workers.

President Gloria Arroyo later followed with Executive Order No. 459 on Sept. 1, 2005 which streamlined the procedures in the disposition of requests to travel abroad by government employees.

Under the rules, members of the President’s Cabinet and officials of equivalent rank; and heads of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC’s) and government financing institutions (GFI’s), should secure an authority to travel abroad from the Office of the President.

Officials and employees of GOCC’s and GFI’s attached to the Office of the President shall seek approval from their heads, while those employed in firms not attached to Malacañang shall seek approval from the secretary of the cabinet department to which they are attached.

Governors and mayors of local government units shall seek the approval from the interior and local government secretary.

Heads of state universities and colleges shall get their authority from the chair of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), while officials and employees of these schools shall seek approval from their respective heads.

Heads of technical and vocational schools shall seek approval from the Chairman of the Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA), while all other officials and employees of technical and vocational schools shall seek approval from their respective heads.

Officials and employees of agencies attached to the Office of the President shall seek approval from the head of these agencies.

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