Love for basketball unites Dato Arroyo, Joel Villanueva

Posted at 07/26/2012 9:59 AM | Updated as of 07/26/2012 2:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines - TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva on Thursday admits a love for basketball, particularly the Boston Celtics, unites him and Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Diosdato "Dato" Arroyo.

Speaking to ANC, Villanueva said he, Arroyo and San Juan Congressman JV Ejercito regularly play basketball together.

Asked if they also talk politics, he said: "We respect each other's opinions. Of course, we are both on the other side of the fence but when it comes to basketball I think with Dato, when it comes to our favorite team, the Boston Celtics, we talk a lot about it."

Villanueva admitted that when he took over TESDA, he was surprised when the previous TESDA leadership asked for P2.4 billion in expenses for sponsoring TESDA scholars.

He said TESDA conducted an audit and found out the actual debt is only P880 million after removing "ghost schools" and "ghost scholars" from the list.

He said none of the technical schools has been paid due to a pending case before the Ombudsman.

"None of the schols were paid. We don't have the money and if it is not appropriated, it is equal to a bouncing check," he said.

Villanueva, son of Bro. Eddie Villanueva, admitted that he is outspoken about his faith while his current career in politics is also a calling. "I stick to what God wants me to be," he said.

He said he also shares his faith with President Aquino.

ANC Headstart, July 26, 2012