MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte joked that he got tired of being told there was no budget for his projects, and so he decided to "throw" his budget secretary to the central bank.
During his fourth State of the Nation Address, Duterte said members of his economic team, would often tell him that there were no funds for projects he considered important.
The President first mentioned Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.
"Siya man ang magyayabang sabi niya marami tayong pera. Pero pag tanungin namin sya dun sa Cabinet meeting... 'Tsk tsk tsk, walang pera, walang pera,'" Duterte said.
(He would boast there we had a lot of money. But when we ask him during cabinet meetings [he would say] "Tsk, tsk tsk. No money, no money.)
"Si Diokno ganun rin, kaya itapon ko sa central bank," Duterte said referring to Bangko Sentral Governor Benjamin Diokno, who at the start of the year was his Budget Secretary.
(Diokno is the same, that's why I threw him to the central bank.)
In 2017, Diokno said the government could not fund a measure granting free tuition in state universities and colleges.
Despite this, Duterte still signed the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.