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Evasco frustrated with 12 agencies under his watch: Only 40% of budget used as execs fear corruption charges

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Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr on Friday urged officials of the 12 agencies under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary to step up and reach out to the people especially in rural areas.

“Get out of your shell and reach out to people. Listen to them what they need,” Evasco said in a press conference for the formal launch of Biyaya ng Pagbabago in Davao City slated December 9 at the Freedom Park here.

Evasco bared that the 12 agencies have a utilization rate of 60 percent at the end of the fiscal year.

He said 40 percent of their budget for programs and projects were not spent.

The low utilization of budget is attributed to fear of releasing money following the controversial Napoles fund scam and stricter rules of the Commission on Audit (COA).

Evasco warned the low utilization of funds would take a toll on the government’s services the people.

“This is the reason we are linking back to the people through the Kilusang Pagababago (KP),” he said.

KP is a mass convergence of people and organizations from the grassroots, Indigenous Peoples and the Urban Poor. KP is more known as a support group of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, and poverty.

Evasco wants to see an increase of the fund utilization by implementing the programs and projects aimed at bringing poverty down to 14 percent from 26 percent of the population at the end of the administration of President Duterte.

The 12 agencies under Evasco’s office that will participate in Saturday’s Biyaya ng Pagababago are the Philippine Coconut Authority , Cooperative Development Authority, TESDA, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, National Anti-Poverty Commission, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, National Food Authority, National Youth Commission, Office of the President – Presidential Action Center, Philippine Commission on Women and the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)