Petilla clarifies resignation, recommends Usec as OIC
MANILA, Philippines – Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said on Wednesday, April 29, that he is willing to “extend” his stay at the energy department if President Benigno Aquino III asks him to, but only for "transitional purposes" until his replacement is named.
Petilla also said in a news briefing, where he clarified some questions about his resignation, that he has endorsed Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada as DOE officer-in-charge.
He said he tendered his irrevocable resignation on March 26, effective April 30, but he has not received “further instructions” from Malacañang.
“Last Monday, April 27, I talked to the President about transition but in the end it wasn’t clear to me what his direction would be in the matter, as we discussed other things as well,” he said, when asked if Aquino had accepted his resignation.
He said even without instructions from Malacañang, his April 30 resignation date stands. But he indicated his willingness to extend his tenure “for transitional purposes” should the President require more time to look for a replacement.
“I gave more than 30 days notice but if it's not enough for them to look for somebody else and my skills are needed, then I would be willing to extend, but I need legal basis. I will wait for further instructions,” he said.
Petilla also made it clear that the DOE would not cease to function without him and pushed his undersecretary to be the DOE OIC for continuity purposes.
“In light of the short period, only a year, for the new secretary to lead, my recommendation is that if they want to continue the programs maybe they should include a DOE Officer-in-Charge (OIC) undersecretary in their shortlist in the person of Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada,” Petilla said.
Monsada, a licensed chemist, was named Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary for Renewable Energy in a DOE structural change last year before which she served as a long-time DOE director.
Petilla mentioned that he had intended to resign since last year but new problems arose such as restoring power in Typhoon Yolanda affected areas, the power rate hike, the summer power supply deficiency for 2015. He did not want to leave the agency while the DOE was facing difficulties.
“I had to secure it first. Everything that we could have done was done, and it looks like we’re going to survive this summer, due mostly to the cooperation of all stakeholders. So with that, it’s time for me to go,” he said.
He added that he resigned for personal and family reasons and that one way or another he would have had to leave his post as energy secretary, “if not in 2016, then in October."
Those seeking elective posts in the May 2016 elections have to file their certificates of candidates in October.
Regarding this, Petilla said he was ”keeping his options open” and that the position he would seek if ever he decided to “could be anything,"
“You can never say until the last minute,” he said. – Rappler.com