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Then chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and now defeated Vice Presidential candidate Francis Escudero on 2014, questioned the handling of the P137-billion that Congress earlier set aside for the rehabilitation and reconstruction in areas affected by supertyphoon Yolanda. The former senator said he didn't see where the funds have gone, and would like to know how it was spent.

“I have to ask them (Palace) naubos na ba nila yung P137 billion. Ganun na ba kalaki ang nagastos natin sa Yolanda affected areas?" Escudero said in a news forum at the Senate. "Quite frankly, I don’t see, it , I don’t feel it and certainly the people in Region 8 don’t see it and feel it either,” he added. According to Escudero, In 2014, P37 billion was alloted for rehabilitation, while P100 billion was included in the 2014 national budget. By November, the Palace requested for another P23 billion for Yolanda reconstruction efforts and government preparations for the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. Escudero questioned if the previous budget has already been used up. “Yung P137 billion more or less, ubos na ba yun? Nagamit na ba nila? Saan napunta bago may dagdag na naman para dyan?” Escudero said.

"Aanhin pa nila yung dagdag na authority na yun e me authority na sila na napakalaki. Kung biglang may excess revenue para magastusan nila yan e di iactivate na lang sana nila yung P80 billion sa unprogrammed funds,” he said. To date, allegations of misuse of Yolanda funds by the previous administration have remained persisting yet unproven. MJM

source:www.filipinewsph.com

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