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President won’t fill up top Budget post

April 25, 2019

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga: President Rodrigo Duterte is not keen on appointing a permanent head of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) until the end of his term in 2022.

The President, in a situation briefing here on Tuesday, shunned the idea of making a “regular” appointment for the Cabinet post vacated by now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Benjamin Diokno in March.

“She has spent her lifetime counting the money and dividing it among us,” Duterte said, referring to Budget Undersecretary Janet Abuel, who now serves as the department’s officer in charge (OIC).

Budget Undersecretary Janet Abuel

“So, I am not appointing a new… a regular appointment. Si ma’am will just act as OIC until in God’s time matapos ako three years. Three years lang naman, ma’am (I will finish my terms in three years. It’s just three years, ma’am),” he added, referring to Abuel.

In the same meeting, the President said on the situation in Pampanga after the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that the problems of the government were related to money.

“Anyway, it’s not so devastating if I would say the word, but it is a problem for us; and the fact that we are assembled here talking about it,” Duterte added.

“At the end of the day, it boils down to money. Maski ano’ng problema sa gobyerno (Whatever problem that the government encounters), it boils down to the lady there at the end of the table,” he said, apparently referring to Abuel.

Duterte indicated that an acting Budget secretary would no longer have to secure the nod of the powerful Commission on Appointments.

Abuel, a lawyer and a certified public accountant, was named as acting secretary of the DBM on March 5 after Diokno replaced then-central bank chief Nestor Espenilla Jr., who succumbed to cancer in February.

She became DBM undersecretary in 2018.

A Bar topnotcher, Abuel holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, and a master of laws degree from the University of Sydney in Australia.

When she was named to lead the Budget department as OIC, the Palace said Abuel got the top post because of her “competence, integrity and expertise.”

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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