This week, President Duterte is taking an eight-seater private jet instead of chartering a commercial aircraft to Singapore for the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Officials say the President will be accompanied by a “lean and mean” team instead of the usual large coterie, as part of austerity measures in his office.
Taxpayers can only hope the austerity will be sustained and, equally important, that the effort will spread throughout the government. Not too long ago, the President and his aides were shown flying coach. For foreign trips, his team decided to charter commercial flights, and made sure all the paid seats would be occupied.
Each of those individuals, however, also incurred expenses for hotels, meals, transportation and possibly per diem, almost all of which were shouldered by taxpayers. So the current austerity effort is much appreciated by the people, who are now burdened by spiraling consumer prices due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, with a second phase in the works.
Any austerity campaign is also important especially because the President has fired several officials ostensibly for embarking on too many foreign travels. How much is too much remains unclear, especially when the trips involve attending events abroad related to the functions of the official and his or her agency. This is the excuse invoked by certain favored officials whose jet-setting ways at taxpayers’ expense have been ignored by Malacañang. / The Philippine Star) – April 25, 2018 – 12:00am
ASEANEWS EDITORIAL CARTOONS:.
7.1. Red’s agenda is not peace – The Daily Tribune
7.2 PET, Comelec counts bound to be different – The Manila Bulletin
7.3. No room for self-serving actions – The Manila Standard
7.5. PDP-Laban, ‘anyare’?– The Philippine Daily Inquirer
7. Isasara parasa ikabubuti– Pilipino Star Ngayon
8.1. Premium- Australia’s weak leadership will carry foreign policy costs – For The Straits Times
Professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University in Canberra
VEERA PRATEEPCHAIKUL FORMER EDITOR
– The Bangkok Post