Bato replaces Lacson as vice chair in Senate finance panel

Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa was designated as one of the vice chairpersons of the Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday, August 31.

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, presides on February 12, 2020, a hearing on the proposal to relax the height requirement in the recruitment of policemen, firemen and jail guards. (Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB)

Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, the committee's chairperson, informed the Senate of Dela Rosa's designation after Senator Panfilo Lacson vacated the post.

"We are lucky because one of the members of the committee expressed willingness to fill, admittedly, the big shoes left by Sen. Lacson," Angara told his colleagues during the chamber's plenary session.

Dela Rosa will be heading the finance panel's Subcommittee C, and will be defending the proposed budgets of the agencies previously handled by Lacson.

These include the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Department of National Defense, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

The former Philippine National Police (PNP) will also be tasked to sponsor the Dangerous Drugs Board, which includes its enforcement arm, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

At the same time, Dela Rosa would also be handling the proposed budget of the Commission on Human Rights.

Lacson resigned as a vice chairperson of the Senate finance committee ahead of the deliberations on the P5.024-trillion proposed national budget for 2022. He said this would allow him to "focus and commit to the scrutiny" of the proposed budget following the recent audit reports on government spending.

Lacson plans to run for president in next year's national and local elections.