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A brief history of the PMS

In 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal created the Program Implementation Agency by virtue of Executive Order no. 17, tasked with providing staff work on socioeconomic programs for the President. This was abolished by President Ferdinand E. Marcos by virtue of Executive Order no. 8, s. 1966 and replaced with the Presidential Economic Staff, tasked with providing staff support on economic matters. However, these offices were primarily centered on economic planning, and their functions would eventually be absorbed by the National Economic Development Authority, when it was established to replace the National Economic Council (established in 1935 by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 2).

Thus the modern-day Presidential Management Staff traces its roots to the martial law years. President Ferdinand E. Marcos saw the need for additional staff support for the President of the Philippines and created the Development Management Staff (DMS) by virtue of Executive Order no. 250, s. 1970. The order mandated the DMS to serve as the principal and central resource base for the President and other top-level Presidential advisory councils or bodies in the decision-making and policy-formulating process especially as these functions are connected to national development and crisis-handling  situations.{{1}} The Development Management Staff would perform this function until 1976 when it was renamed and restructured.

On July 8, 1976, President Marcos reconstituted the DMS and renamed it to the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) by virtue of Presidential Decree no. 955. Through this decree, the PMS was mandated to provide the President with a multidisciplinary/multisectoral staff capable of maintaining a total perspective, which would provide an integrated approach and be the primary staffing arm of the President on matters related to development management. The PMS would function as such until its reorganization in 1987.

President Corazon C. Aquino in 1987 broadened the scope of the PMS’s function to serve not just the President of the Philippines but also the Office of the President. In Executive Order no. 130, s. 1987, the mandate of the PMS was enhanced and became the primary government agency directly responsible to the Office of the President for providing staff assistance in the Presidential exercise of overall management of the development process.

On July 4, 1987, President C. Aquino issued, Executive Order no. 241, which effectively abolished the Office of Development Management and transferred all its functions to the PMS. Included in the transfer was the absorption into the PMS of specific projects: the Land Investment Trust Program and the Private Sites and Services Project Office.

The head of the PMS was eventually given cabinet rank by President C. Aquino in 1989. On March 14, 1989, by virtue of Executive Order No. 391-A, President Aquino created a Presidential Coordinating Assistance System with PMS as its common administrative research and technical secretariat. In the same order, the head of the PMS was given cabinet rank. In essence, PMS became the think tank of the Executive Branch.

President C. Aquino gave more functions and responsibility to the PMS in 1991 when she transferred several offices to it. On January 16, 1991, Executive Order No. 446 directed the PMS to absorb the Cabinet Secretariat, the Presidential Complaints and Action Office, and the Sectoral Liaison Offices to further provide common staff support to the President, the Executive Secretary and the Presidential Assistants/Advisers System in such areas as management of the development process, administrative reforms sectoral liaison, public assistance, strategic research, and public formulation.

By the end of President Corazon C. Aquino’s term the PMS became the support body in the Office of the President responsible for the management of the national development process. It administered various funds and conceptualized special projects for the Office of the President. From it came the technical staff support necessary for the implementation of presidential initiatives and projects.{{2}}

It was during the Estrada administration that the division of labor between the Executive Secretary and the Head of the PMS was re-examined. On February 16, 2000, President Joseph Ejercito Estrada issued Administrative Order No. 109, creating the position of Presidential Chief of Staff. This order, however, maintained the mandate and functions of the PMS as envisioned by Executive Order no. 130 s. 1987.  Administrative Order No. 111, issued on March 7, 2000 placed the PMS under the Office of the Chief of Staff.

However, the Presidential Chief of Staff, Aprodocio Laquian, was dismissed on March 28, 2000, after a mere 42 days in office. No successor was appointed, although a head of the PMS was appointed by Estrada.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Renato C. Corona Chief of Staff on January 20, 2001. On February 12, 2003, President Arroyo issued Administrative Order no. 62, recreating the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff and mandating it to work closely with the PMS. This was rationalized on January 13, 2006 by means of Administrative Order No. 138, which still assigned supervision of the PMS to the Office of the Chief of Staff. On February 26, 2008, Administrative Order No. 221 was signed, abolishing the office of the Chief of Staff.

Throughout this period, Presidents from Ramos to Arroyo at times appointed Cabinet Secretaries who were concurrently Heads of the PMS; at other times, different officials held the position of Cabinet Secretary and head of PMS. In 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed Secretary Julia Abad as head of the PMS but did not appoint a Cabinet Secretary. The Cabinet Secretariat control and function continued within PMS.

Currently, the PMS functions as primary staffing arm of the President of the Philippines, responsible for research and other preparations required for the briefing papers used by the President, and for the logistical and other planning work for presidential trips, both domestic and foreign. It is also tasked with the administration of the President’s Social Fund and membership in Cabinet Clusters.

 

Basahin sa Filipino

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Related:

The Executive Office

Office of the Cabinet Secretary

Division of Labor: Presidential Management Staff, Executive Office, and Office of the Cabinet Secretary

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[[2]] The Aquino Management of The Presidency[[2]]