Palace to gov’t agencies: Coordinate with DFA, DOF on int’l agreements

MANILA-- MalacaAang has directed all government agencies, including government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs), to coordinate closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) regarding negotiation and signing of international agreements -- borrowings, guarantees and foreign grants.

The order was contained in Memorandum Circular (MC 16) which was signed on April 11 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by authority of President Rodrigo Duterte.

As noted in MC 16, while the President is the sole organ of the country's foreign relations and the chief architect of its foreign policy, the DFA is the lead agency that advises and assists the President in planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and evaluating the total national effort in foreign relations.

Meanwhile, the DOF is tasked to undertake and supervise activities related to the negotiation, servicing, restructuring of domestic and foreign debt incurred or guaranteed by the government and its instrumentalities.

Besides calling for greater coordination among various government agencies, MC 16 provides that authorization from the Office of the President (OP) must first be secured by a lead agency before entering into negotiations for a treaty or executive agreement, as well as agreements covering borrowings, guarantees and foreign grants.

The authorization shall be granted in writing through Full Powers, Special Authority, Letter or Memorandum signed by the President, or the Executive Secretary "by authority of the President."

All heads of departments, bureaus, office, agencies or instrumentalities of government, including GOCCs and SUCs, are directed to strictly comply with the requirements of complete staff work before requesting for authorization.

Requests for authorization shall be submitted to the OP, through the DFA or DOF, at least 10 working days before the desired date of issuance.

MalacaAang said enhanced coordination among the various government agencies with the DFA and the DOF is needed in the face of growing interest among foreign governments and investors in the country due to the efforts of President Duterte.

"MC 16 ensures that all agreements entered into by the government undergo thorough evaluation of all the agencies concerned, especially the DFA which is the lead agency for PH's foreign relations," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement sent to reporters Tuesday.

"Considering the massive and growing interest of foreign governments and investors in the country, the Office of the President has deemed it appropriate to issue the MC to ensure the effective and efficient coordination among agencies," Abella said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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