Robredo: Release of aid ‘normalized’ under my watch
Pre-election restrictions hindered her predecessor from spending much of the allocation for financial assistance, but Vice President Leni Robredo said the use of the funds “normalized” during the second half of the year under her watch.
“‘Yung pag-assume natin, parang nag-normalize na ulit siya (When we assumed office, [use of the funds] normalized again),” she said during this Sunday’s episode of her radio program “BISErbisyong Leni” aired on RMN-dzXL 558 kHz.
She was reacting to the annual audit report recently released by the Commission on Audit, which stated that only P130 million, or about about 60 percent, of the 2016 funds given to help poor Filipinos were used.
Robredo said the spending of the funds “somewhat slowed down” from February 2016 during the run-up to the May presidential elections. She did not mention names, but it may be recalled that former Vice-President Jejomar Binay campaigned for the presidency and placed fourth out of five.
“Medyo nag-slow down ‘yung services… Hindi pa po tayo ‘yung nakaupo (Services somewhat slowed down. We were not seated yet),” she said.
Robredo also claimed that of the P219-million purse, only P151 million was actually released. This meant the utilization rate was actually 86 percent, instead of the 60-percent figure reported by the CoA.
She said the unreleased allotments could still be used this year.
She stressed her office’s mandate to provide assistance to the poor through the Angat Buhay program, even bringing up the savings incurred from transferring the office from the Coconut Palace that served as the office during Binay’s time. JE
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