Palace assures continuity as PGMA swears in new Cabinet members

March 8, 2010 11:57 pm 

MANILA, March 8 — Malacanang said today that the new team in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Cabinet will be a working team that will ensure continuity in government services and operations until the end of her term in June.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar described the seven newly-appointed members of the Cabinet whom the President swore into office this morning in Malacanang as a team with impressive individual credentials.

“Most of the new Cabinet members are in fact deeply experienced public servants,” Olivar said. “So the agenda is in no way interrupted. In fact the policies and programs of the administration were set a long time ago and will continue to be carried out with vigor by the President’s men and women.”

Olivar said it is the President’s intention to work hard until the very last day as well as to bring out a smooth transition to a new government.

“This will be the case until the President leaves the office,” he said.

Sworn into office were Transportation and Communication Secretary Leandro Mendoza as new Executive Secretary replacing Eduardo Ermita, who has tendered his resignation to run for a congressional seat in his home province of Batangas.

Also inducted were Office of the Government Corporate Counsel head Alberto G. Agra as Justice Secretary, replacing Agnes Devanadera; former Undersecretary Bernie G. Fondevilla vice Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap; former Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator Ma. Elena H. Bautista replacing Presidential Management Staff (PMS) director general Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr.; TESDA deputy director general for fields operation Rogelio Peyuan vice TESDA director general Secretary Augusto Syjuco; deputy executive secretary Joaquin Lagonera replacing Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr.; and deputy executive secretary Natividad Dizon vice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, the President’s chief presidential legal counsel.

Devanadera is vying for a congressional seat in Quezon province while Esperon is running as a representative of a district in Pangasinan. Yap is seeking to be a representative of Bohol.

Syjuco and Andaya are also vying for congressional seats in their respective provinces of Iloilo and Camarines Sur while Gonzalez is running for mayor in Iloilo City.

After the oath-taking ceremony, the President also swore in Cabinet members who were appointed in the 4th quarter of 2009 and 1st quarter of 2010.

They are: Public Works Secretary Victor A. Domingo, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Celia C. Yangco, Health Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Horacio C. Ramos, Press Secretary Crispulo Icban Jr., Political Adviser Prospero Pichay Jr., Cabinet Secretary Ma. Corazon Imperial, National Security Council chairman Milo S. Ibrado, Special National Public-Private Reconstruction Commission Secretary Ricardo L. Saludo, Climate Change Commission Secretary Heherson Alvarez and Mindanao Development Authority chairman Jesus Dureza. (PNA)

scs/OPS/ssc

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