Drilon slashed SEA Games budget but allocated P2.3B to Iloilo – solon
MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker denounced Senator Franklin Drilon for allegedly slashing the budget allocated for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, while P2.3 billion of the 2019 budget was allocated to the province of Iloilo.
Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo, during his privilege speech at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, said the country is prepared to handle this year’s SEA Games despite the supposed P2.5 billion budget cut.
He then mentioned the funds allocated to Iloilo — Drilon’s home province.
“I would commend the organizers despite the budget delay and even with the slashing of the SEA Games budget by Senator Drilon amounting to P2.5 billion; we stand ready in showcasing to the world and people our culture and our talents,” Salo said.
“Curiously, however, simultaneous with the P2.5 billion slashed in the SEA Games budget, is the increase in the budget of the various infrastructure projects in Iloilo, by P2.3 billion,” he stressed.
Drilon is being blamed by organizers of the SEA Games, including the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) chair and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, for the problems that sprouted days before the first events started.
1-Pacman Rep. Mikee Romero also said Drilon and the Senate were to blame — something that both Drilon and Senate President Vicente Sotto III had denied.
“It was Senator Drilon who moved the budget of the SEA Games to the PSC and it was Senator Drilon who proposed cutting it by 33%…,” Cayetano said last Monday.
Salo did not elaborate on the matter. He said the focus should be on the success of the SEA Games.
“But all of that is water under the bridge. What we need to do now is to ensure the success of this event, we have successfully done it in the past with the support of our people, and certainly we can do it again with the same level of support, if not more, from our people,” Salo explained.
Various problems have plagued the SEA Games, from delayed transportation services and miscommunication to hotel billeting, inappropriate food, and unfinished sporting venues. However, supporters of the administration called on critics to turn their attention to the events.
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