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Palace: P10-B APEC spending went to taxi drivers, hotel employees

Even taxi drivers and hotel employees benefitted from the P10 billion spent by the government on the just concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, Malacañang said Saturday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told state-run radio dzRB that the P10-billion APEC spendings of the government actually went to the local economy.

"Saan po ba pumupunta ‘yan? ‘Di po ba sa mga lokal na hotel, sa mga tip na naibibigay sa ating mga nag-se-service doon sa hotel, sa mga taxi, sa mga local car services, sa mga local airlines, sa mga local restaurants so lahat po ‘yan pumasok sa ating local economy," Valte explained.

She added: "Kung ano man ho ‘yung ginastos natin dito sa ating paghu-host ay sa ekonomiya po mismo ng Pilipinas pumunta ‘yan. Sa mga hotel po dito ibinayad, doon sa mga infrastructure na ating prinoyekto na maiiwan din po dito sa Pilipinas; hindi naman po para sa dayuhan ‘yung infrastructure natin, para po ‘yan sa mga Pilipino."

Valte also assured that that "every single peso" spent by the government for this year's hosting of the APEC meetings will be accounted for.

"Ang alam ko po hindi buong Senado. Isa lang pong senador na tumatakbo sa pagka-bise presidente ang nagbigay ng panawagan diyan and, of course, it goes without saying that it will be audited," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail valte told state-run radio dzRB.

Valte was referring to Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, former chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and running mate of presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe.

"wala po tayong itinatago diyan at talagang alam po natin that by the end of the hosting every single peso will be accounted for," the Palace spokesperson added.

Escudero on Friday said that the P10-billion spending of the government in the country's hosting of the APEC summit should be reviewed.

"Let's review what has been done, what was spent, and see the cost-benefit, if it's worth it," Escudero said at a roundtable discussion where he was asked if he thinks the benefits to be gained from hosting the trade summit was worth it.

"After the fact, that's when we will see where the P10 billion went," he said. "I think the government might have spent more than P10 billion but this was not all charged to the APEC expenditure."

Valte also clarified that the Aquino administration has been consistent enough when it comes to transparency in expenditures.

"Wala naman hong gastos ang gobyerno na hindi po natin ipinapakita sa taumbayan," she said. —ALG, GMA News

Tags: apec2015