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Duterte: DBM acting chief staying until 2022

/ 08:18 AM April 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Acting Budget Secretary Janet Abuel will head the department until 2022 as President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not appoint a permanent Secretary until the end of his term.

Duterte made the announcement Tuesday night as he presided over a briefing on the Luzon earthquake in San Fernando City, Pampanga, which was attended by several government officials, including Abuel.

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“Anyway, it’s not so devastating if I would say the word, but it is a problem for us; and the fact that we are assembled here talking about it,” Duterte said.

“At the end of the day, it boils down to money. Maski anong problema sa gobyerno, it boils down to the lady there at the end of the table,” Duterte said, referring to Abuel.

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The President then said he will not make a “regular appointment” and will let Abuel head the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Abuel was earlier named DBM officer-in-charge following the appointment of erstwhile Budget Secretary Ben Diokno as governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

READ: Janet Abuel named DBM acting chief

“She is — spent her lifetime counting the money and dividing it among us. So I am not appointing a new — a regular appointment. Si ma’am will just act as OIC until I — in God’s time matapos ako three years. Three years lang naman ma’am,” Duterte said.

He then joked that Abuel should “punch” lawmakers who will get in the way of the budget process.

“And ah wala ng Commission on Appointments. At saka kung ano ka ng mga congressman, suntukin mo. May congressman ba dito?” Duterte said. /gsg

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