Solon questions 87.8 % decrease in Nat’l Printing Office’s 2019 budget
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate on Thursday questioned the 87.8 percent decrease in the proposed budget of the National Printing Office (NPO) for 2019, lamenting how the agency had long been ignored by the government.
“It’s high time that the committee takes a look into this. It’s usually seen as an entity that is not very important but we know, next year, election year na naman,” Zarate told the House appropriations panel during the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s (PCOO) budget defense.
The NPO is an attached agency of the PCOO.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has proposed a P11.499 million budget in 2019 for the government printer.
That amount is P83 million lower, or 87.83 percent smaller, than its 2018 budget of P94.5 million.
The P11.499 million is also allocated only to NPO’s personnel services (PS). Its maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay have no allocation.
PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar also acknowledged this difficulty which he described as a “vicious cycle.”
“Siniguro po namin sa PCOO at NPO na increasan ang budget ng NPO so unfortunately, eto na naman tayo balik na naman natin sa dati na pinauubaya natin budget ng NPO… Para itong vicious cycle na nangyayari taun-taon,” he said.
“Kami po naman sa PCOO ay hindi nagkulang sa gabay at suporta na binbigay natin sa NPO,” he added.
When asked if they were fairing well when it comes to their income, NPO representative, Atty. Rino Sagaral, said: “Our production is nasa balance, hindi gaano kalakihan.”
Zarate also said he would ask for the reinstatement of the yearly PS budget of the NPO instead of just for a month.
“Even in the past, one-month PS lang talaga ang ina-alocate but Congress leave it to them na ilagay ‘yung budget talaga ng PS for the entire year dahil napaka-speculative na bigyan mo lang sila ng one month. What if next month wala silang income ano’ng mangyayari sa kanila?” he said.
“This kind of practice na one month lang ang ia-allot mo, very precarious. Eh kung walang pumasok na revenue dyan?… Saan ngayon kukuha ng pansweldo ang NPO? Hindi naman sila pwede mangutang,” he added.
PCOO has an overall P1.474 billion proposed 2019 budget which the committee earlier approved. /vvp
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