Duterte to ban foreign trips of gov't officials in 2018

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 22) — No more foreign junkets for officials under President Rodrigo Duterte's administration starting 2018, except for diplomats.

Duterte on Thursday said he will order the travel ban abroad for members of the executive branch starting January 1, 2018. The Vice President and Cabinet members will be affected by the President's travel ban.

"Dito sa akin, no travel now. I'll cut it o whatever. Except the diplomats, 'yung mga ambassador... Mag-starvation diet muna tayo diyan. Every time you go out you spend per diems and then hotels plus the fare," he said in a speech in Davao City.

[Translation: No travel under the executive branch, except the diplomats and ambassadors.... We'll have a starvation diet on that. Every time you go out you spend per diems and then hotels plus the fare.]

He said travel of government officials  cut their work productivity

"Mostly sa Manila, mga dead woods (sic). Ang mga tao magpunta doon, maghanap ng… magpirma wala niyan. Pagbalik ka bukas, wala diyan. P***, pagdating dito, nandoon sa abroad. Tingnan mo ang record, 7, 8, 9, 10 going abroad. You save the money of the people for a flimsy reason to go there," he said.

[Translation: Most of the deadwood are in Manila. When people go to them to ask for their signatures, they're not there, because they're abroad. Check their records, they're abroad. You save (spend) the money of the people for a flimsy reason to go there.]

Duterte added he will order a review of all the foreign travel records of officials.

"I'll look for plenty of victims. Ipatingin ko lahat. 'Yung lahat na every month nag-travel, you go. I do not need you in the Executive department," he said.

[Translation: I'll look for plenty of victims. I will order a review of those who travel every month. I do not need you in the Executive department.]

Duterte has sacked several government officials over unnecessary junkets.

Earlier this month, all of the commissioners of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) were fired for being "notorious for junkets abroad."

Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chief Dionisio Santiago was asked to resign in November due to allegations he spent government money on junkets abroad.

PCUP and Santiago have since denied allegations.