PCOO to Nancy Binay: No public funds used for federalism roadshow this year
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Tuesday that no public funds were used to promote federalism this year as the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) focused on delivering COVID-19 information.
Andanar issued the statement after Senator Nancy Binay chided the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the PCOO over the online signature campaign for Charter Change amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The senator lamented how the two agencies supposedly used state funds for federalism roadshows that could have helped augment the government’s response for the COVID-19 crisis.
But Andanar said the signature campaign is not managed by the DILG nor the PCOO, but by partner Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), who voluntarily conducts the initiative online and not physically going barangay-to- barangay.
He also said that the PCOO has minimized its engagement in promoting the Duterte administration’s federalism push.
“…any downloaded roadshow funds from the past year have either already been spent or have been returned to the country’s treasury to financially assist the programs and actions against COVID-19,” Andanar said.
“No part of this year’s budget or any fund has been used for any roadshow whatsoever,” he added.
The Palace official also stressed that the PCOO has been working to fulfill its mandate of engaging the public, citing the public briefings, social media activities, and other information dissemination initiatives.
The Inquirer earlier reported that the DILG has transferred its physical signature campaign online to meet a July deadline amid the pandemic. However, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año branded the report as “fake news.”
But the Inquirer stood by its report, citing the DILG memorandums it obtained and authenticated through a phone call with DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.
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