Press Release
October 3, 2018

Statement of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III during the budget hearing of the Presidential Communications Operations Office on October 3, 2018

Mr. Chairman, I am speaking on behalf of a number of the members of the Senate. We would like to take a second look into the budget of the PCOO and how it has been spent in the last two years and if it has really been effective in carrying out the messages of the President to the people. Precisely, that is your mandate.

Now, lately, the perspective of some members of the Senate is that we have completely digressed already from the original intent of the creation of the Office of the Press Secretary and it is no longer in the landscape of the administration, even in the past administration. For one thing, we were informed that the reason that PCOO was created and even the PCDSPO was created was to accommodate some political friends of the previous administration. So, we're thinking that perhaps this is the best time to study, while studying your budget, to review and study the possibility of reverting back into the Office of the Press Secretary. We can streamline that and use your current budget, and if necessary, we can infuse more budget, for that to be more effective for the office to be more effective.

I have to say this on the record: I speak on behalf of Senator Lacson and Senator Honasan, but I am sure there are other members of the Senate who would like to support this proposal and we can propose it into the GAA. So the chairman of the subcommittee on Finance who is handling your budget can probably study this possibility.

Also for the record, we informed the President about this and he is acceptable to the idea. As a matter of fact, he said we should discuss it with you. For the information of the chairman, I had a private meeting with Secretary Andanar, and we gave him the idea. So for the information of the committee, Mr. Chairman, perhaps while you scrutinize their budget, you can also look into the possibility of taking everything all under the umbrella of the Office of the press Secretary and perhaps it will be more effective than what it is today.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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