House to blame for SEA Games budget mess: Drilon
Opposition Sen. Franklin Drilon on Tuesday blamed the House of Representatives for a delay in the passage of this year's national budget, which some congressmen claimed led to mishaps in the country's hosting of the Southeast Asian Games this week.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and 1PACMAN Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero earlier blamed Drilon for the budget delay, saying the senator proposed cutting the funds for the SEA Games by about a third and moved it under the Philippine Sports Commission.
Drilon said the House of Representatives was already late in submitting the proposed budget in December, around 55 days after the usual date, containing some P95 billion in pork barrel that fueled debates.
"Kung mayroong delay e dahil sa kanila," Drilon told radio DZMM.
(If there was any delay, it was because of them.)
Last December, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo accused some members of the House of Representatives of using employing diversionary tactics by accusing Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno of irregularities in the preparation of the 2019 national budget.
Drilon noted there are only 3 opposition members in the Senate and they could not have stopped the passage of the budget.
Even if the budget was delayed, most of the funds used for the SEA Games infrastructure were from separate loans, he added.
"Talagang hindi ko maintindihan ang relasyon nitong mga sinasabi nating kapalpakan sa sinasabi nilang delay sa budget," he said.
(I cannot understand the relationship of the blunders and the budget delay they are blaming.)
Some members of foreign delegations to the sporting event complained of awful accommodations and delayed transportation after their arrival in the Philippines.
Online uproar ignited after pictures of foreign athletes waiting for transportation at the airport and their room reservations at their respective hotels circulated online.
Photos of inadequate food served to the athletes and unfinished venues also went viral.
This marks the Philippines' fourth time hosting the biennial regional event in which athletes from 11 countries will face off. The SEA Games opening ceremony will be held Saturday.
DZMM, Nov. 26, 2019