Roxas to Binay: Use current data if you want to discredit me
Former Interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on Sunday was in fighting form as he deflected the accusations of his fellow presidential candidates during the second presidential debate at the University of the Philippines Cebu campus.
Roxas hit back at Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte when asked about the current administration’s inability to provide for the needs of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) survivors.
“Kung gusto mo lang na siraan ako o tapunan ng putik, at least gamitin mo current data,” Roxas told Binay at one point.
(If you want to discredit me or throw mud at me, at least use current data.)
Binay was asking him why his former agency, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), did not liquidate P7 billion in funds, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
“Tapos na po ‘yun. Ang binabasa n’yo 2014. 2016 na tayo. Ginawa lahat ito 2015,” Roxas shot back.
(That’s over. You’re reading the report from 2014. It’s now 2016. All of that was finished in 2015.)
Roxas explained that of course at that time, when the 2014 report was released, the funds have yet to be liquidated.
“Sabihin n’yo sa staff ninyo maging up to date sa pag-aaral,” he added.
(Tell you staff to be up to date in their research.)
Roxas claimed that of the P90 billion released for the rehabilitation of areas hit by Yolanda, P4 billion was allocated to the DILG.
He said everything was sent to the local government units to fix and construct infrastructure.
“As of now mahigit 93 percent na ang completed d’yan sa mga projects na ‘yan,” he said.
(Now, more than 93 percent of those projects have been completed.)
However, Roxas admitted that there are still survivors who have yet to benefit from the government’s housing program.
He said another P46 billion will be released, with P30 billion going to the National Housing Authority.
“Ginawa natin ang lahat. More than 10 million food packs ang pinamahagi natin. Mahaba ang prosesong ito pero ginampanan ito ng gobyerno,” Roxas said.
(We are doing everything. More than 10 million food packs have been distributed. This is a lengthy process, but the government is doing its job.)
Duterte also used COA reports to ask Roxas about 37 percent of the Yolanda funds that have yet to be spent on rehabilitation projects.
Roxas pointed out that the DILG has finished 90 percent of its Yolanda-related projects. He said those that have not been implemented were probably under the other agencies.
Duterte later apologized and said he was referring to all the agencies involved.
Senator Grace Poe, on the other hand, said what was needed was good communication, especially since there are still a lot to be done for the rehabilitation of affected provinces.
“’Pag kukuha tayo ng isang leader. Isang leader na may management style (If we will elect a leader, it should be one with a management style),” she said, in an apparent dig at Roxas, who has been criticized by his rivals for his way of leadership. IDL
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