Senate panel okays OP, PMS budgets for 2019
The proposed budget of the Office of the President (OP) for 2019, which includes the budget for the office of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), got the nod of the Senate committee on finance on Thursday.
Only Senator Loren Legarda was present when the Senate’s finance panel, which she chairs, approved the OP’s budget.
“I don’t see anything controversial with your hearing and I’m alone on a Thursday,” Legarda said at the start of the hearing.
“Unless the senators upstairs would like to come down because the media are covering us,” she said, apparently in jest.
The senator noted that there was a 12.32 percent increase in the OP’s proposed P6.773 billion budget next year compared to its current budget this year.
Legarda quickly pointed out however that the increase was due mainly to the implementation of the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL), among others.
“Again, we have to explain this because people (would say), under Duterte administration 12 percent increase OP. Bakit magastos si Presidente?”
“So we have to explain that there is the SSL and 8.45 percent will go to the compliance of the law,” the senator said.
Legarda later declared that the budget proposals of the two agencies were deemed approved in the committee and would be submitted to the plenary for deliberations.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and other OP officials attended the hearing. /muf
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