The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Tuesday approved the ad interim appointments of Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susana “Toots” Ople and Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Gamaliel Cordoba.
But the powerful constitutional panel suspended its decision on Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael Lotilla, with Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito motioning that the hearing be suspended due to time constraints.
CA and House Majority Floor Leader Lray Villafuerte endorsed to the plenary the confirmation of Ople, which was seconded by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.
The Senate leader noted no other person is fit for the post except Ople, a known advocate of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and the daughter of former Senator and Labor Secretary Blas Ople.
Toots Ople assured she will further strengthen the new department, which was created to focus solely on the welfare and interest of Filipino migrant workers.
Earlier, she said that once she is confirmed as DMW secretary, it would mean a “solid standing” as designated guardian and protector of OFWs in different countries.
Regarding Cordoba, all members of the CA panel threw their support to him after his appointment was suspended last week due to other pending questions.
Among the questions asked from Cordoba were the revocation of the ABS-CBN franchise when he was National Telecommunications Commission head and updates on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
He was also questioned on the organizational structure of the audit commission, his observations on COA rulings, its backlog of cases, a special audit of the Bureau of Corrections, and other issues facing the New Bilibid Prisons.
Cordoba said the COA has already coordinated with the resident auditors of the Department of Health on the audit of the COVID-19 vaccine procurement deals.
In last week’s hearing, Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Rep. Rodante Marcoleta traded barbs on the revocation of the franchise of ABS-CBN.