Info campaign for federalism gets zero budget for 2020
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has allocated zero budget for the federalism information drive of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
Assistant Communications Secretary Ana Maria Rafael revealed this during a hearing on PCOO’s budget at the House appropriations committee on Friday (Sept 6).
She said there was no word yet from the Department of Interior and Local Government about the information campaign and her office was “not pushing through” with any awareness drive.
While the DILG has a budget for federalism awareness for 2019, Rafael said she was unsure if the DILG proposed funding for the information campaign in the 2020 budget.
In 2018, former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the DILG and PCOO would spearhead the public awareness drive on federalism, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s core messages during the presidential campaign of 2016.
The Commission on Audit, in a report, said the PCOO has yet to liquidate at least P10 million in funds spent on the federalism information campaign.
The absence of any mention about federalism or Charter change in Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address last July 22 was taken by opposition Sen. Franklin Drilon to mean that federalism had been “laid to rest.”
But Palace officials said the push for federalism has just been put in the back burner./tsb
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