By Genalyn Kabiling and Ellson Quismorio
President Duterte has appointed Davao City 1st Rep. Karlo Nograles as the new Cabinet Secretary, Malacañang announced Monday.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Nograles was expected to take his oath before the President Monday afternoon.
Nograles, a political ally of the President, assumes the Cabinet post vacated by LeoncioEvasco Jr. who has filed his candidacy for governor of Bohol province in the 2019 elections.
“He enjoys the trust and confidence of the appointing power, the President,” Panelo said during a Palace news conference on Nograles’ appointment.
Panelo said the President reached the decision to appoint Nograles to the Cabinet two weeks ago.
Nograles earlier dropped his Senate bid in next year’s elections and decided instead to support the candidacies of fellow Mindanaoans.
Nograles, chair of the House committee on appropriations, is on his third and final term as congressman. The President’s son, former Davao City Mayor Paolo Duterte, is expected to run for congressman in his hometown next year.
Panelo, meantime, said there was still no confirmation yet on the looming appointment of Senator Gregorio Honasan as the next Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications (DICT). He said
“I have not received a confirmation…bakamamaya or tomorrow during the Cabinet meeting,” Panelo said
Development to the regions
Nograles believes that his tenure as House Appropriations Committee chairman would help him in his new position as Cabinet Secretary.
“I thank President [Rodrigo] Duterte for welcoming me to his Cabinet. As a fellow Mindanaoan and kapwa probinsyano, I hope to contribute to government efforts to bring development to the regions through different programs that place an emphasis on providing more economic opportunities outside Metro Manila,” Nograles said in a statement Monday.
This is the first executive post for the 42-year-old Nograles, who since 2010 has been a congressman. It was in 2016 when he assumed the chairmanship of the Appropriations panel, which is one of the most powerful positions in the 290-plus member House of Representatives.
He hoped that his experience as head of the Appropriations Committee would provide him with the kind of “holistic perspective” needed in his new post.
“As Appropriations Chair, one has to be familiar with the financial resources of the government’s different agencies, as well as have a general idea of their main thrusts and major programs,” said the Davao native.
As Cabinet Secretary, Nograles will head the Cabinet Secretariat, which under Executive Order (EO) No. 67 is tasked to assist the President “in the establishment of agenda topics for Cabinet deliberation” and “facilitate the discussion of cabinet meetings.”