DBM welcomes Diokno subpoena from House
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Thursday said it would welcome a subpoena from the House of Representatives “to clarify” issues regarding the 2019 national budget.
The DBM issued the statement as it denied the fresh allegations against the department and Diokno.
House appropriations committee chair Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. has accused Diokno of “inserting” P75 billion infrastructure fund in the proposed P3.757 national budget for 2019 without the knowledge of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and district congressmen.
He also alleged that Diokno has at his disposal P740 billion in unspent funds from the last two years, which could influence this year’s midterm elections.
“These accusations are without basis and are meant to discredit the good reputation of this administration’s DBM as one of the most transparent and credible institutions in the world,” DBM said in a statement.
“For the record, on July 9, 2018, a Cabinet Meeting was held where the President approved the budget, including the P555 billion allocation for DPWH,” it added.
“Following the President’s approval, the DBM cited, “printing of the National Expenditure Program (NEP) commenced on July 10, 2018.”
On Wednesday, the House appropriations committee on Wednesday carried a motion to subpoena Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno after he continuously snubbed the chamber’s inquiry into issues hounding the 2019 national budget.
“Given these facts and the misconceptions about the process, we take any subpoena from the House as an opportunity to clarify all these matters not only to the public, but also for the official records of House,” the DBM said. /muf
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