Palace: Apec expenses to be audited; every peso to be accounted for
Reacting to a statement by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Malacañang on Saturday assured the public that all government expenses for the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings this year will be properly audited.
“Isa lang pong senador na tumatakbo sa pagka-bise presidente ang nagbigay ng panawagan diyan and, of course, it goes without saying that it will be audited. Wala naman hong gastos ang gobyerno na hindi po natin ipinapakita sa taumbayan,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
(Only a senator running for vice president has called for [an audit], and, of course, it goes without saying that [the expenses for the Apec meetings] will be audited. There are no government expenditures that the people are not made aware of.)
Noting that “every single peso will be accounted for,” Valte said that whatever amount of money was spent during the Apec summit will benefit the country’s economy and the Filipino people in general.
“Ngayon pa lang sabihin ko na, na kung ano man ho ‘yung ginastos natin dito sa ating pag-ho-host ay sa ekonomiya po mismo ng Pilipinas pumunta ‘yan. Sa mga hotel po dito ibinayad, doon sa mga infrastructure na ating prinoyekto na maiiwan din po dito sa Pilipinas; hindi naman po para sa dayuhan ‘yung infrastructure natin, para po ‘yan sa mga Pilipino,” she said.
(Right now, I tell you that whatever cost we spent for the hosting [of the Apec summit] goes directly to the Philippine economy. The payment goes to the hotels, and the infrastructure will be left here in the Philippines; these infrastructures are not for the foreigners but for the Filipinos.)
Escudero on Friday said he would seek an accounting of the P10-billion budget for the international summit, adding that he would like to know if the government spent for the luxury vehicles used by the world leaders and delegates who attended the Apec meetings.
“For one, I would like to know whether we spent for the BMWs or the Mercedez-Benzes and HiAce vans. Were those donated by companies or sold secondhand for a lower price? Or how much were they afforded to do that?,” said Escudero, former chair of the Senate finance committee.
But Valte went on by saying that only the needs of the heads of state and not of the entire delegation are being shouldered by the government’s budget.
“Tuwing nagkakaroon po tayo ng mga delegasyon, ang binabayaran po ng host diyan ay usually ‘yung world leader lang po, ‘yung kanilang economic leader. So lahat po ng staff ng security, lahat po ng delegasyon kanya-kanya po silang bayad, so hindi po gobyerno ang nagbabayad para po sa lahat ng bisita natin. Sila po mismo ang nag-sho-shoulder ng kanilang mga gastos,” she said.
(Every time we have delegations, what the host usually pays for are only the costs expended by the world leaders, only the economic leaders. So all the security staff, the delegations, [the world leaders] have paid for those themselves; it is not the [host] government that pays for [the expenses of] all the guests. They shoulder their own expenses themselves.) CDG