Budget Secretary Avisado resigns for health reasons

Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado resigned on Friday, citing health reasons, the President’s Spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said.

In a Viber message, Mr. Roque said President Rodrigo R. Duterte accepted Mr. Avisado’s resignation on Friday, adding that Undersecretary Tina Rose Marie L. Canda will serve as officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Mr. Avisado filed for medical leave between Aug. 2 and 13 after contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). He was hospitalized for eight days and quarantined for more than a month.

He was appointed Secretary in August 2019.

“I am sad that our Secretary has to retire because of his health condition. I hope he recovers and will be well,” she said in a Viber message Friday.

The executive department needs to meet a 30-day deadline under the Constitution to submit the budget to Congress following the State of the Nation Address, which was delivered this year on July 26.

ACT-CIS Representative Eric G. Yap, who chairs the House committee on appropriations, said the resignation will not affect the 2022 budget’s timetable.

Ms. Canda has said that Mr. Duterte approved the proposed P5.024-trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2022 even before Mr. Avisado went on medical leave.

She said the DBM is finalizing the accompanying documentation required to submit the NEP to Congress, with a target date of Aug. 23. – Beatrice M. Laforga

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