Solon wants answers: How did TESDA use P4 billion in less than 2 weeks?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2021 09:21 AM

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MANILA—A lawmaker wants the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to answer how it spent P4 billion in scholarship funds in less than 2 weeks.

House Deputy Minority Leader and Marikina City 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo expressed doubt on the obligated funds in light of the agency's history of low-efficiency in budget spending.

"Sa ngayon po itutuloy ang pandinig sa kanilang budget hearing dahil ang daming katanungan na kailangan pong i-raise kasi katakataka po 'yun, imposibleng mangyari po 'yun," she told Teleradyo.

(The budget hearing will continue because there are many questions that need to be raised because it's surprising, impossible.)

Last week, the House of Representatives deferred deliberations on TESDA's proposed 2022 budget after Quimbo flagged the agency for "miraculously" spending P4 billion in 13 days.

Quimbo said it appeared that TESDA wanted to let lawmakers know they were able to utilize their funds.

This, despite it usually takes the agency almost 2 years to utilize its annual budget, she added.

TESDA had a P13.69-billion budget in 2019 while the agency was given P11.9 billion in 2020. It proposed P13.64-billion funding for next year.

"Ang tanong nga diyan, bakit nila sinasabi ito? Baka nga po nagpapalusot, gustong ipalabas na maganda ang kanilang kapasidad sa pag-utilize ng funds," Quimbo said

(The question is, why are they saying this? Maybe they wanted to make it appear they could utilize the funds.)

In the interview, Quimbo also raised TESDA's questionable transfer of P2 billion to Philippine International Trading Corp in 2019 for the purchase of training kits and P5 billion to its regional offices in 2020.