MANILA -- The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) admitted that there was nothing illegal and irregular in the spending of budget committed by the previous administration.

DBM Undersecretary Mario Relampagos explained all the released fund underwent legal process and authorized by the Congress.

But he pointed out that the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lack prudence in spending the national budget leaving the country with only P500 billion to spend for the rest of the year.

“If you look at our deficit for the period January to June (2001) we overshot the target with P51 billion. And that was caused by two factors one there was revenue shortfall of P23 (billion), which should have signaled the slowdown of spending or releases. But if you look at the spending for that period we exceeded P27 billion,” he said.

President Aquino, during his State of the Nation Address, criticized his predecessor for allegedly overspending the P1.54 national budget.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda meanwhile said that the issue is not the legality of spending but the ethics on how the budget was spent.

“They were saying that they are good fiscal managers but as it turns out you’ve got a severe shortfall on collection, you’ve got spending, and that it the reason we incurred so much deficit. It is really fiscally irresponsible for them do that,” Lacierda said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)