Minister Julius Espat Weighs in on JPAC Meeting
Minister Julius Espat sat in the first Joint Public Accounts Committee (JPAC) meeting yesterday. Today, the media caught up with Minister Espat to hear his take on how this meeting went. He says that he is content with the level of transparency that was displayed as the entire meeting was live-streamed, which gave the opportunity for the audits and reports to be discussed in real-time.
Hon. Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing: “I was happy that for the first time we had a public hearing that went live. That is an achievement by itself and everybody in there is saying “Why” and I’m telling them it doesn’t matter. We are not here to solve everyone’s problem but the mere fact that the JPAC can go public and people can see it it raises the level of transparency because it allows you to discuss the topics and then people could be aware. Then the NGOs take over, then you guys take over and ask the questions and follow through with the information. It’s not hidden anymore. While before you could – I mean Marisol has been with me from day one when we were trying to ask all kind of questions and they don’t want you to even go into the room and now that’s illegal so I think it’s a great step but it’s now the chairman’s role. I am only a supporting member. I will lend her whatever support that she requires but it’s her role now.”