THE Palace chided former socio-economic planning secretary and senatorial bet Ralph Recto Saturday for claiming the government is on a panic-spending spree, saying he “of all people” should know this is not the case.

Deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar reassured the public there will be much funds left for expenditures for the incoming administration.

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“Huwag mag-alala si former Sec. Recto. Naging member pa ng official family ng presidente siya (Recto should not worry. He was a member of the Cabinet before). There will be a lot left in the budget for incoming administration. He of all people should know that is the case,” he said.

Olivar also turned the tables on Recto, who he said had been among the authors of the law on the controversial expanded value-added tax (VAT).

Recto, then a senator when he pushed the expanded VAT law and defended it in his failed senatorial bid in 2007, should know how expanded VAT helped stabilize the country’s finances, according to Olivar.

“He should know better than to make demands like that,” he added.

Recto, who is now running for senator under the Liberal Party behind Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III, urged President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday not to use up the entire P1.541-trillion national budget with her “panic-spending” during the election campaign.

“The government should impose a glass ceiling when it comes to expenditures. If it only has half of the year, then it should stay on half of the budget ... It should give budget room to the next administration,” Recto said.

He also said the Arroyo administration should not be “in a panic-spending mode in its last days in office.”

Meanwhile, Olivar brushed off former senator Ernesto Maceda’s claims President Arroyo played favorites when she released P459 million in 2009 to her home district in Pampanga.

He said infrastructure spending under Mrs. Arroyo is higher than previous three presidents combined, and there were reasons behind such spending such as importance to investors and residents.

“(His claims were) obviously just for political purposes,” he said. (JMR/Sunnex)