Budget discussions with Aquino ‘like thesis defense’


LONG TALKS. President Benigno S. Aquino III presides over the Cabinet Meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañang Palace on Monday, July 8. Malacañang Photo Bureau

President Benigno Aquino III and the Cabinet met for 10 hours — from 10:30am to 8:30 pm on July 8 — to deliberate on the government’s 2014 budget. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said in a tweet that they felt like they were “all presenting a thesis defense with the questions” coming from Aquino over the proposed P2.268 trillion budget. “We are moving into performance-informed budgeting, so [Aquino] was asking a lot of questions regarding outputs and outcomes and corresponding budgets,” said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. “He was exacting and rigorous.” The Aquino administration is running behind its budget preparation schedule, but the president likes to mention savings and prudent allocation of funds when announcing budgets.

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