Lacson says DBM has many competent execs to explain ₱5-T 2022 nat'l budget

Published August 2, 2021, 2:47 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Even with the physical absence of Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, Senator Panfilo Lacon on Monday, August 2, said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has an “abundance of competent and capable” officials to answer questions on the P5-trillion proposed 2022 national budget before senators and congressmen.

Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson (Senate of the Philippines)

Lacson issued the statement as he said there should be no reason to delay the submission of the 2022 National Expenditure Program (NEP) to the 18th Congress.

The executive branch is constitutionally mandated to submit to Congress the proposed national budget within 30 days after the President has delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) every fourth Monday of July. President Duterte delivered his sixth and final SONA last July 26.

“Same is the case when committee hearings of both the House Appropriations and the Senate Finance committees start their simultaneous public hearings on the national budget,’’ Lacson said in a text message.

An anti-pork advocate, Lacson has tried to pinpoint ‘’pork barrel’’ allocations of lawmakers because such allocations have become sources of corruption.

Avisado is on medical leave from August 2 to 13 on the advice of his doctor, Malacañang said Saturday.

In a statement, the DBM said Avisado was afflicted with COVID-19 where he was hospitalized for eight days and went under quarantine for “over a month”.

The DBM stated that Avisado’s physician advised him to undergo a series of examinations since it has been 14 years since the budget chief underwent a quadruple open-heart bypass.

DBM Undersecretary Tina Rose Marie Canda will serve as officer-in-charge when Avisado goes on leave.

A DBM statement assured that the agency “remains committed to its mandate of promoting the efficient and effective management of the national budget to support its budget priorities especially in the midst of the pandemic”.