House confirms no gov’t funds used for Atayde foreign trip


The House of Representatives on Wednesday confirmed that Quezon City 1st District Rep. Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde has been issued an official travel authority (TA) that allows him to travel to Switzerland, Italy, and Greece from August 5 to 27, the cost of which will not be shouldered by the government.

Issued on July 10, Travel Authority No. IPRS-0723-PT2495 – addressed to Rep. Atayde and signed by House Secretary General Reginald Velasco on behalf of the House Speaker – states that the lawmaker has been authorized from August 5 to 27 to travel to Switzerland.

Atayde will represent the Philippines in “the screening of the movie Topakk during the 2023 Locarno International Film Festival in your capacity as Vice Chairperson of the the Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts.”

Aside from authorizing Atayde to visit Switzerland, the TA authorizes him to visit Italy and Greece.

Asked to clarify if the official travel would be shouldered by the HOR, SecGen Velasco explained that “no government funds will be used for the official travel of Rep. Atayde.”

The House Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts is mandated to tackle “all matters directly and principally relating to industries generated by individual creativity, skill and talent that produce cultural, artistic and innovative products such as but not limited to design, music, book publishing, architecture, interior design, gastronomy, film and video, crafts, visual arts, fashion, furniture, TV and radio, advertising, literature, print and digital media, software and game development, animation, live events and the performing arts.”

The Committee is chaired by Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher De Venecia. Its vice chairpersons include Atayde, Bohol 2nd District Rep. Maria Vanessa Aumentado, Leyte 4th District Rep. Richard Gomez, and Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez.

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