Duterte’s office wants 2020 budget hiked: OP ‘ang takbuhan ng lahat’
MANILA, Philippines — “Takbuhan ng lahat.”
This was how presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo defended the increase in the requested budget of the Office of the President for 2020.
The Office of the President (OP) is asking for a budget of P8.2 billion for next year – P1.5 billion higher than the budget it has for 2019.
This year, Duterte’s office has a budget of P6.7 billion while it had P6.3 billion in 2018.
In its proposed 2020 budget, P6.7 billion will be allocated for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), P1.1 billion for personnel services, and P427 million for capital outlay.
Of the P6.7 billion requested MOOE budget, the confidential and intelligence expenses for the Office of the President got the biggest share at P2.25 billion each or P4.5 billion in total.
The P4.5 billion sought is almost double the P2.5 billion that Duterte’s office had requested in the past two years.
“Ang Office of the President siyempre kailangan talaga ng maraming pera dahil ‘yan ang takbuhan ng lahat eh. ‘Pag wala nang pera ‘yong mga ibang departamento, tumatakbo sa Office of the President,” Panelo told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
“‘Di ba lalo na ‘pag may mga emergency, may mga calamity, ‘yong Office of the President ang takbuhan,” he added.
He further defended the increase in the requested budget, saying: “Pagdating sa mga pangangailangan ng mga medicines, wala maibigay ang Pagcor, wala maibigay ang PCSO, Office of the President ang bahala.”
Panelo earlier shielded the Office of the President’s increased 2020 budget for intelligence and confidential fund, saying it “has to have resources to determine the threats against the state.”
“You really need money. You need people, you need machines, technology. You will have many expenses,” he said, adding that “it’s difficult to secure a country.”
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has also justified the huge hike on intelligence and confidential expenses.
“The additional amount is necessary to fund the government’s intensified efforts against criminalities and various threats against the Philippines’ security and sovereignty,” he said in a text message to INQUIRER.net. /kga
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