Jan 29 2017

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Chatto grants Malacañang request to ‘borrow’ one of his ablest men


Gov. Edgar Chatto has granted Malacañang’s request to “borrow” one of his ablest men and tap his competence by serving at a highly essential development coordinating body under the Office of the President.

The administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte will make full use of Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) chief Atty. John Titus Vistal, whose talent and skills are deemed to be “vital” to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council HUDCC).

Chatto cited the young Vistal, 43, as “a very outstanding government worker and a very skilled individual.”

Bound to be the newest Boholano in the Duterte cabinet, Vistal will perform for an agreed period of one year the function of HUDCC secretary general, which is equivalent to an undersecretary.

Vistal is not replacing Vice President Leni Robredo in the HUDCC after she resigned as the council’s chair in December.

Cabinet Sec. Leoncio Evasco, Jr. has since replaced Robredo in the HUDCC, which is just one of the agencies handled by the Boholano trusted man of Duterte.

Being the HUDCC secretary general, Vistal acts as the point person to coordinate with all agencies related to housing and urban planning and development while liaisoning with many other agencies.

Vistal placed fifth in the 2016 National Licensure Examinations for Environmental Planners (EnPs).

Malacañang’s borrowing of Bohol’s PPDO officer is officially termed a “secondment,” a mode of government personnel movement allowed by the Civil Service Commission, according to Chatto.

While at the HUDCC, Vistal continues to retain his permanent plantilla in the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) as the PPDO chief, although a deputy takes over in his absence until the secondment agreement shall have terminated.

The PPDO will be manned by Vistal’s deputy, Peter Retutal, also a certified public accountant who, Chatto said, is also “very competent” having graduated his masters in Australia.

Fellow provincial department heads and government co-workers considered Vistal’s secondment to a Malacañang body is an “offered privilege” that could at the same time prove the competence and integrity of the current Bohol administration.

Chatto said it is another way of showing Bohol’s support to the Duterte administration which has helped failed the province, especially pertaining to the socio-economic development effort.


Late last December, Malacañang sent Usec. Gloria Jumamil-Mercado to see and discuss with Chatto the secondment proposal.

Mercado was also tasked by Evasco to initially seek the governor’s opinion and concurrence.

She handcarried a letter from Evasco to Chatto asking for Vistal’s secondment and gave the governor a copy of a separate letter of the cabinet secretary to the president also about the proposal.

At the same meeting, Mercado and Chatto were joined by Vistal who was amenable to his secondment but with, of course, official “blessing” of the provincial chief executive.

In his letter to Chatto, Evasco said Vistal was favorably recommended by Mercado herself.

Mercado and Vistal had the opportunity of working together during her stint as the dean of the Graduate School of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

Chatto and Evasco personally talked of the secondment on the occasion of the groundbreaking of the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) upgrading project on January 4, this year.

The governor agreed in principle, but subject to the concurrence of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) and with due respect for the provincial legislature.

Chatto asked for a reasonable time to confer also with the key officers of the PPDO.

He met with Vistal, Retutal and the PPDO divison heads who all supported the decision of the governor to agree to the secondment.

After the monthly capitol convocation program on Monday, January 23, the governor conferred with and explained to Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite and the SP members his position supporting the Malacañang request and allowing Vistal’s secondment.

In a letter, Chatto formally indorsed the same to the SP for an authority to sign a secondment agreement with the Office of the President thru Exec. Sec. Salvador Medialdia.

The provincial board on Friday passed a resolution granting authority to the governor.

According to the prepared agreement, Vistal’s secondment will take effect on Wednesday, February 1, and end on January 31, 2018. The agreement may be renewed.


“This is our way, another way, of supporting and helping the national government,” Chatto said.

He said Bohol’s development framework is consistent with and supportive of the national government agenda.

Vistal can help facilitate the strengthening of the link between the national government and local development in collaboration with the Boholano cabinet and top level officials in the Duterte administration, the governor said.

While “at the top,” Vistal will continue to provide guidance to the PPDO thru the officer-in-charge who, Chatto further described, is “an equally qualified planner and a leader in his own right.”

Vistal’s competence is well known here and “we are proud that this will be Bohol’s contribution to the national government, along with the other Boholanos already in the cabinet,” Chatto stressed in his letter to the SP.

Vistal will keep serving his province in a strategic position where he can also liaison with the national agencies in the realization of Bohol’s Spatial Development Framework Plan, the biggest recent work of the PPDO under him.

Permanent link to this article: http://edcom.bohol.gov.ph/chatto-grants-malacanang-request-to-borrow-one-of-his-ablest-men/