AFTER the eight-day filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) on Friday, October 8, officers-in-charge (OICs) will be orchestrating the day-to-day operations of some state offices and agencies.
The official campaign period starts on February 8 and March 25 for those seeking national and local positions, respectively, according to the Commission on Elections’ calendar of activities.
Encouraged by no less than President Duterte himself, some of his “trusted and brightest” offials are seeking elective positions in next year’s automated presidential, congressional and local polls.
Among those reported eyeing Senate seats are Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
In impoverished Philippines, where elections are held every three years, appointive public servants, including Cabinet members, are deemed resigned from their posts upon filing their COCs.
Outgoing President Duterte, who is barred by the Philippine Constitution from seeking reelection, may appoint a department undersecretary (USEC) or assistant secretary (ASEC) as officer-in-charge.
Unless replaced by the tough-talking Chief Executive from Mindanao, these OICs hold office until the end of the six-year Duterte presidency at 12 noon on June 30, 2022.
Without doubt, these OICs have concrete plans of action on how to address the problems confronting their offices during the remaining days, weeks and months of President Duterte.
Although they have their own plans of action, these OICs ought to pursue with vigor and determination their predecessors’ programs and projects as Duterte winds down his stint as President.
What is important here is that those to be named as OICs should help President. Duterte in realizing his dream of uplifting the living conditions of the Filipino people, particularly the poor.
And addressing the problems of illegal drugs, graft and corruption in government offices, and criminality not only the metropolis but throughout the country.