Executive Secretary (Philippines)

Executive Secretary (Philippines)
Executive Secretary
Paquito Ochoa, Jr.

since June 30, 2010
Inaugural holder Jorge B. Vargas
Formation January 30, 1936
Website http://www.president.gov.ph

The Executive Secretary of the Philippines (formerly known as the Secretary to the President or Chief of the Executive Office) is the head and highest ranking official serving in Cabinet of the Philippines and the head of the Office of the President of the Philippines. The office-holder has been nicknamed as the "Little President" due to the nature of the position. The office was established on January 30, 1936, with Jorge B. Vargas as the inaugural holder.

The current Executive Secretary is Paquito Ochoa, Jr., serving in this position since June 30, 2010, when President Benigno S. Aquino III was inaugurated.[1]

Powers and duties

In Book III, Chapter 9, Section 27 of Executive Order No. 292, the Administrative Code of the Philippines[2], the role of the Executive Secretary was defined as:

Sec. 27. Functions of the Executive Secretary. - The Executive Secretary shall, subject to the control and supervision of the President, carry out the functions assigned by law to the Executive Office and shall perform such other duties as may be delegated to him. He shall:
  1. Directly assist the President in the management of the affairs pertaining to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines;
  2. Implement presidential directives, orders and decisions;
  3. Decide, for and in behalf of the President, matters not requiring personal presidential attention;
  4. Exercise supervision and control over the various units in the Office of the President Proper including their internal administrative requirements;
  5. Exercise supervision, in behalf of the President, over the various agencies under the Office of the President;
  6. Appoint officials and employees of the Office of the President whose appointments are not vested in the President;
  7. Provide overall coordination in the operation of the Executive Office;
  8. Determine and assign matters to the appropriate units in the Office of the President;
  9. Have administrative responsibility for matters in the Office of the President coming from the various departments and agencies of government;
  10. Exercise primary authority to sign papers "By authority of the President", attest executive orders and other presidential issuances unless attestation is specifically delegated to other officials by him or by the President;
  11. Determine, with the President's approval, the appropriate assignment of offices and agencies not placed by law under any specific executive department;
  12. Provide consultative, research, fact-finding and advisory service to the President;
  13. Assist the President in the performance of functions pertaining to legislation;
  14. Assist the President in the administration of special projects;
  15. Take charge of matters pertaining to protocol in State and ceremonial functions;
  16. Provide secretarial and clerical services for the President, the Cabinet, the Council of State, and other advisory bodies to the President
  17. Promulgate such rules and regulations necessary to carry out the objectives, policies and functions of the Office of the President Proper;
  18. Perform such other functions as the President may direct.

The Executive Secretary possesses much power since the holder of the office is the alter-ego of the President of the Philippines, the chief executive. The Executive Secretary can issue orders in the name of the President, can review and modify decisions of other cabinet secretaries on appeal and can perform numerous other functions as allowed or delegated by the chief executive.

List of Executive Secretaries

Name Term started Term ended President
Commonwealth of the Philippines
Jorge Vargas 1936 1941 Manuel Quezon
Manuel Roxas 1941 1942 Manuel Quezon
World War II
Commonwealth of the Philippines (restored)
Arturo Rotor 1944 1945 Sergio Osmeña
Jose S. Reyes 1945 1946 Sergio Osmeña
Emilio Abello May 1946 July 4, 1946 Manuel Roxas
Third Republic of the Philippines
Emilio Abello July 4, 1946 1948 Manuel Roxas
Elpidio Quirino
Teodoro Evangelista Elpidio Quirino
Rafael M. Salas 1966 1969 Ferdinand Marcos
Alejandro Melchor Ferdinand Marcos
Fifth Republic of the Philippines
Joker Arroyo March 25, 1986 September 14, 1987 Corazon Aquino
Catalino Macaraig, Jr. September 17, 1987 December 14, 1990 Corazon Aquino
Oscar Orbos December 29, 1990 July 1991 Corazon Aquino
Franklin Drilon 1991 June 30, 1992 Corazon Aquino
Teofisto Guingona, Jr. June 1993 May 20, 1995 Fidel Ramos
Edilmero Amante 1995 1995 Fidel Ramos
Reuben Torres 1995 1997 Fidel Ramos
Alexander Aguirre 1997 1998 Fidel Ramos
Ronaldo Zamora June 30, 1998 January 6, 2001 Joseph Estrada
Edgardo Angara January 6, 2001 January 20, 2001 Joseph Estrada
Renato de Villa January 20, 2001 2002 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Alberto Romulo 2002 August 23, 2004 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Eduardo Ermita August 24, 2004 February 23, 2010 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Leandro Mendoza February 23, 2010 June 30, 2010 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Paquito Ochoa, Jr. June 30, 2010 Present Benigno Aquino III