MANILA -- Despite the statement of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III that he will convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) as soon as possible, not one meeting has been set so far.

To the disappointment of the House minority bloc, the Ledac has not been convened by President Aquino even if the law states that there should be a meeting every quarter.

“That is important because the executive and the legislative should have an agenda on what proposals should be enacted into law because the President can initiate the policy orientation but it is Congress who's the policy-making body,” said House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman.

The council was created through Republic Act 7640 which states that "it shall constitute an effective advisory and consultative mechanism to ensure consistency in coordinating executive development planning and congressional budgeting".

In his first State of the Nation Address, Aquino said the Ledac will be convened at the soonest possible time to discuss important bills that need to be addressed like the fiscal responsibility law.

Lagman noted that the lack of a Ledac meeting caused the lapses in the 2011 national expenditure program (NEP) submitted to Congress by the budget department. The minority lawmaker earlier asked a supplemental NEP but no proposal was submitted.

“The President should have called the Ledac so that we could thresh out differences and if there are really budgetary lapses, then both branches of government, the political department could put their acts together and resolve the problem,” he added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)