Escudero calls on COA to check gov’t spending on infomercials

By , on June 30, 2015

Sen. Francis 'Chiz' Escudero (Romy Bugante / PRIB Senado)
Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero (Romy Bugante / PRIB Senado)

MANILA — Senator Francis Escudero, chair of the Senate finance committee, urged the Commission on Audit to investigate how certain government agencies are spending its budget on infomercials.

Escudero noted that it is important to know how the concerned agencies are spending their budget in order to avoid the misuse of government funds. He also expressed his concern about the possible use of government money to further one’s political ambition through these infomercials.

He pointed out that Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) director Joel Villanueva, Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, and Department of Health Secretary Janet Garin are gunning for higher office in 2016 and the sudden surge of TV commercials of their respective agencies must be checked.

In a report by the Manila Bulletin, Escudero said that “a candidate’s face should not be shown in infomercials because it is clear it will look like they are campaigning using government resources.”

“We need to know where the funds they used came from. I don’t want to pinpoint this could have been government funds because sometimes there are private donors willing to give and sometimes, the money could also be personal funds,” he added.

Escudero also noted that they “cannot just assume [the officials] are using public funds” for the said infomercials, so an investigation by the proper government body must be conducted.