House defers debate anew on PCOO 2019 budget since Mocha isn’t there… again
The House of Representatives has again deferred its deliberation on the proposed 2019 budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) because Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson has once more failed to show up in the plenary.
The plenary has already approved the budget of all the attached agencies of PCOO, except the PCOO proper.
During Tuesday’s plenary debates on the P1.474-billion proposed 2019 budget of the PCOO, ACT-Teachers Rep. France Castro reiterated her request for Uson’s presence during the agency’s budget defense.
“Matanong ko lang Mr. Speaker. Nung nakaraan pong deliberasyon ng budget ng PCOO dito sa plenary ay hiniling ng kinatawan na ito ang presensya ng ating Asec. Mocha Uson. So, itatanong ko lang nandirito po sya?” she asked.
PCOO budget sponsor Rep. Eric Olivarez said Uson is still on her way back to the country from the United States. Uson attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York City together with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, among others.
“Three times that Secretary Andanar wrote a letter to Asec. Mocha with regard to her presence here today and there was no response coming from her,” Olivarez told Castro.
“At present, Asec. Mocha is in transit from the US going back to the Philippines and shall be back tomorrow, and there’s no definite time when she’ll be coming back tomorrow,” he added.
But House Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay Jr. said deliberations of the PCOO budget can be continued later in the day because the nation’s budget should not be held up by the absence of Uson.
“We cannot delay the budget of the country because of Mocha,” he told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
Last September 25, the House plenary also suspended its deliberations on the PCOO’s 2019 budget proposal as Castro questioned Uson’s absence during the agency’s budget defense.
“Kapansin-pansin na wala dito ‘yung presence ni ASec. Mocha Uson. Tingnan nyo po. Ala una na pero andito pa ang Secretary, mga Undersecretary. Andito pa tayo dahil alam natin na mahalaga ang budget ng PCOO,” Castro said.
“Noong September 6, briefing for the budget of PCOO wala na nga sya. Ngayon ay wala na naman si Asec Uson. May tatlong pahina ako na mga tanong [for this controversy-riddled agency and official]. With that, I move to defer deliberations of the budget of the PCOO proper,” she added. /kga
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