GMA  REACHED OUT  TO  GUINGONA,  NAMED  HIM SPECIAL  ENVOY, ADVISER

MANILA,  October 27, 2004
(STAR)
President Arroyo has reached out to her estranged former vice president, naming Teofisto Guingona Jr. as her special envoy and senior adviser on economic affairs and development.

In issuing Administrative Order 107 last Oct. 18, Mrs. Arroyo empowered Guingona to call upon any government agency for help in undertaking relevant projects.

The President has also authorized Guingona to engage the services of consultants subject to the approval of her office.

Mrs. Arroyo has instructed Budget and Management Secretary Emilia Boncodin to fund from "available resources" the requirements of Guingona’s office.

Under AO 107, Guingona has the following powers and functions:

• Advise and report directly to the President on matters concerning the formulation and implementation of programs and projects pertinent to the promotion of the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and seafarers and the development of Mindanao.

• Recommend measures to address policy, institutional implementation and operational issues and concerns on programs and projects for OFWs and seafarers and those relative to Mindanao development, and supervise the implementation and completion of said projects and programs.

• Represent the Philippine government abroad, promote foreign and local investment opportunities, prioritize as necessary projects under the agencies, local government units and other shareholders.

• Promote and accelerate the socio-economic development in Mindanao with the assistance provided by other presidential appointees and elected officials in the areas.

Mrs. Arroyo appointed Guingona vice president a month after she took over the government from President Joseph Estrada, who was ousted in a military-backed uprising on January 2001.

Guingona later broke away from Mrs. Arroyo and resigned as secretary of foreign affairs over policy differences in the RP-US Balikatan military exercises.

Guingona supported the candidacy of opposition presidential bet Fernando Poe Jr. in the May elections. –Marichu Villanueva


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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