GOOD NEWS! Office of the President's P20B budget gets approved without question
The House of Appropriations Committee swiftly approved the P20-billion budget for 2017 proposed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s office. This was after Albay Rep. Joey Salceda of the majority bloc discouraged his fellow congressmen to ask questions after the budget pitch of the Office of the President (OP) as a matter of courtesy.
However, minority blog’s Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman promised to throw “many questions” regarding the OP proposal during the plenary deliberations for the country’s budget for next year. The House plenary is set to tackle the proposed national budget next week. The OP has proposed P19.9 billion in new appropriations for next year, but it will reach P20.03 billion if all obligations were counted.
P15.4 billion will be allocated to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) golden anniversary, as the Philippines will be the one to host it next year. From this ASEAN fund, P11.07 billion will be directed to the OP, P749 million to Tourism, P1.4 billion to the Presidential Communications Office, P177 million to Trade and Industry, and lastly, P2 billion to the Interior and Local Government.
The OP is also seeking: P2.5 billion in confidential and intelligence funds, P2.2 billion for travel expenses, P1.3 billion for communication expenses, P2.1 billion for Professional Services, and P7.5 billion for representation expenses.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea refused to talk to the media after the hearing.
On the other hand, Ambassador Marciano Paynor, who was appointed to head the ASEAN Golden Anniversary National Organizing Committee, said that the proposed budget of the OP will be enough for the expenses in hosting the ASEAN anniversary.
“Barring unforeseen events, yes, we will make do with the budget as presented,” said Paynor.