By Hanah Torregoza
The Duterte government should just use the supposed P90-million budget for the information drive for federalism to purchase medicines for children or give it as assistance to flood and fire victims, Senator Nancy Binay said on Monday.
Binay made the suggestion after learning of the latest blunder committed by Presidential Communications Office Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and social media personality Drew Olivar who started the controversial vulgar dance that will supposedly promote federalism.
“Ilagay na lang natin muna ang P90-million na pondo sa gamot para sa mga bata (Let’s just set aside the P90-million to fund medicines for children),” Binay said in a statement.
“Let it be better spent on medicines and assistance to flood and fire victims—at least we know healthcare is worth every centavo,” the senator added.
Last week, Binay said she intends to ask Senator Francis Pangilinan, chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, to invite Uson to the hearings on charter change and federalism.
The hearings will help the Senate ascertain her role in the information drive having been tapped by the Consultative Committee (ConCom) to help out in spreading information on federalism through social media.
Binay had also said she is interested to find out how Uson will explain the salient points of federalism through social media.
But after the release of the controversial dance video, the senator said it should have been clear to Uson that federalism is a “very, very serious topic.”
“Una, dapat malinaw sa ating lahat na federalism is not an amusement piece, nor is it a comedy material,” Binay said.
“Sa totoo lang, even the most educated university professor finds federalism a complicated subject,” she lamented.
Binay also emphasized the need for the government to tap decent officials to explain the message of federalism.
“I can’t emphasize enough how important the messenger relays the message. With what we all saw in the video, I think we can all agree that the message and the messenger matter,” the senator stressed.
“Nakalulungkot (It is sad) that the seriousness of the discourse has been downgraded to the lowest of forms,” she said.
Palace officials, she said, should seriously consider removing Uson and other officials who have no official business with the ConCom from all activities related to federalism.
“At the moment, perhaps Malacanang can ask those who have no official business in speaking in behalf of the Consultative Committee to disengage from all activities relating to the information campaign about federalism,” Binay urged.
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, also fumed after seeing the vulgar dance moves supposedly to be used to spread information on federalism.
“It is a desperate attempt to attract attention by intentionally offending our sense of propriety!” Escudero said.
“It is downright vulgar and has no place in the public discourse on such an important issue as their proposed shift to federalism and charter change,” he added.