Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio has formally reached out to the office of Vice President Leni Robredo and the Department of Education ahead of her expected takeover of both agencies starting July 1, her spokesman said Saturday.
In a statement, Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco, Duterte-Carpio’s spokesperson, said the Vice President-elect “has communicated formally with the Office of the Vice President… with the view to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and comprehensive transition.”
Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Robredo, assured preparations are ongoing for the turnover.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to give his successor, president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, pieces of advice especially concerning the war on illegal drugs, Malacañang said.
Duterte is ready to help the incoming administration in case Marcos asks for his guidance, acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in an interview with One Balita Pilipinas.
“The President is now ready to retire. On the other hand, he also said he is there to help if the next President needs his advice,” Andanar said.
Marcos on Thursday said he was open to tapping Duterte as his drug czar if the outgoing president wants to.”
Meanwhile, the San Pedro Square in Davao City is being readied for Sara Duterte-Carpio’s inauguration as vice president-elect on June 19.
Robredo will return to the country next week from New York where she attended the graduation of her youngest daughter, Jillian.
Frasco said Duterte-Carpio has also formally communicated with the Office of the Secretary of the DepEd after Marcos Jr. tapped his running mate to be his Education secretary.
Outgoing Education chief Leonor Briones welcomed Duterte’s appointment and committed to work for an orderly transition of the DepEd leadership.
“As the transition process is still ongoing entailing detailed discussions on all aspects of the workings of the OVP and the DepEd, information on the completion of this process will be released once available,” Frasco said.
Duterte earlier said as DepEd secretary, she would work on “producing skilled learners with the mindset to realize their full potential as individuals.”
Briones is hoping for continuity with the President’s daughter, she said on the sidelines of the of the four-day Education World Forum 2022 in London.
“We discussed how we can move forward, how we survived, shared stories, and how we handled different challenges post by COVID, particularly the shutdown of schools, the changes in the curriculum,” Briones told ABS-CBN News after the summit on Thursday (Friday in Manila).
The secretary also spoke for the first time about the transition as she finished as the head of the largest bureaucratic institution in government, with the biggest budget, and during the pandemic, being beset with issues.
Briones said she is ready to step down but not retire and if asked for advice, she will unselfishly share her vast experience in government service.
She is a former Presidential Adviser for Social Development, with the rank of department secretary, and was National Treasurer of the Philippines, heading the Bureau of National Treasury (1998-2001), under the presidency of Joseph Estrada.
“It’s the prerogative of the incoming president to appoint members of his official family. He chose her (Duterte) and she accepted. But we are looking for continuity. She is fully aware of all our programs that we initiated at the Department of Education,” she told ABS-CBN.
She shared that Duterte has reached out to her twice to facilitate the transition, but they have yet to meet in person.
“She has reached out to me quite a few times. It just so happened I was in a very important meeting. She has just been proclaimed. After she takes her oath of office, we will start the transition process immediately,” Briones said.
“We have had an exchange of letters, wherein we suggested that she selects her transition team, her point person and I have my own undersecretary heading our own transition team,” she added.