Duterte ‘given wrong info,’ slashing budgets not in Senate’s agenda — Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte may have been “given the wrong” information since there is “nothing” in the Senate’s agenda that pertains to the cutting of an agency’s budget over the non-attendance of Cabinet members in hearings, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.
“There is nothing like that in the Senate’s agenda. Cabinet members usually attend to explain their budgets. The President is being given a wrong impression by some people ‘i don’t know who’!” Sotto said in a message to reporters on Wednesday.
“I don’t know who is threatening the budget of the [executive department]. The President must be being given wrong info. When a Cabinet member does not attend his budget deliberations in plenary, we simply call their budget when they are present. No such thing as cutting the budget because of non attendance,” he added.
Sotto then pointed out the importance of holding regular Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meetings.
“That’s the trouble of not calling a regular LEDAC. Rumors become information,” the Senate leader said.
In a public address Wednesday, Duterte dared senators to slash the budgets of government agencies by one-third.
This, as the President alleged that the Senate is supposedly threatening the budget of different agencies under the executive branch “because the officials refuse to attend to your hearings.”
Should the senators take on the challenge, Duterte then threatened not to sign the 2022 national budget.
Once the budget is approved by Congress, the proposed General Appropriations Act is subject to the signature of the President.
The Senate is currently in the middle of committee-level budget hearings.
Duterte’s warning comes as he and senators clash over the ongoing blue ribbon committee probe into the government’s pandemic-related purchases in 2020.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.