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DFA’s P7.5B SEA Games budget returned to DBM — Locsin

/ 03:13 PM April 09, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday said the P7.5 billion budget for the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) included in the department’s budget has been returned to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

A netizen asked Locsin on Twitter why the SEA Games budget was lodged under DFA and not the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

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Without disclosing the exact date, Locsin said the budget has since been returned to DBM.

“You mean the P7.5 billion for the 2019 SEA Games? I returned it to the DBM,” Locsin said in a tweet.

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“Cabinet was stunned I returned the money, but I said I don’t want it. I don’t like sports in general,” he added.

In December 2018, the inclusion of the SEA Games budget in the DFA budget was also questioned in the Senate.

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Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon, in particular, said the budget should not be given to DFA as sports promotion is not a part of the foreign affairs department’s mandate.

Senate finance committee chairperson Loren Legarda explained that it was former foreign affairs secretary and chairman of the 2019 SEA Games’ organizing committee Alan Peter Cayetano who requested for the budget to be lodged under the DFA.

Drilon then suggested that the budget be transferred to PSC.

Locsin, however, insisted that the budget should go back to the Treasury and not PSC, saying that he does not trust the sports commission.

“It should go back to Treasury. It might be with PSC which I don’t trust,” Locsin said.

“I will ask the new DBM Secretary to make sure it returns to Treasury. All of it. Drilon suggested PSC, but that is wrong. It should go back to Treasury. That was my intent and my intent rules,” he added.

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The 2019 SEA Games, which will be hosted by the Philippines, is set to begin on November 30 and end on December 11.

Several countries in the Southeast Asia region compete in various sports events including basketball, volleyball, and badminton, among others. /ee

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TAGS: DBM, DFA, Philippine news update, SEA games, Southeast Asian Games, Teodoro Locsin Jr
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