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2020 NATIONAL SPENDING PLAN

P654-M PMS budget approved by Senate sub-panel, but agency wants more

/ 04:29 PM September 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate finance sub-committee on Wednesday approved the proposed P654.6 million budget of the office of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) for 2020.

But PMS has lamented the P654.6 million funding and immediately sought in the same hearing an additional P52.9 million to augment its budget for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlays next year. PMS said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) slashed their original budget proposal.

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PMS officials made a four-slide presentation before the panel to defend its budget proposal that covers MOOE, capital outlays, and personnel services.

PMS finance management director Irene Calingo specifically noted that funds will be allocated for the salary and compensation of 288 permanent positions and the newly created 101 contractual positions; projected operating expenses of the disaster resiliency and service continuity centers in Cebu and Clark City; traveling and training expenses of all employees; as well as dedicated internet subscriptions of its regional field units, among others.

After their presentation, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said the sub-panel sees nothing wrong with the agency’s proposed budget.

“I would just like to manifest na wala kaming probelma diyan. Ayos. So far, so good,” he said.

Thus, former presidential aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who presided over the budget hearing, approved the proposed budget for PMS in less than 15 minutes.

The approved PMS budget for 2020 was noted to be P4 million lower than its 2019 budget.

Go then asked PMS officials if they had any budget cuts by DBM, to which PMS acting chief Undersecretary Ferdinand Cui said: “We proposed a budget that’s higher than this, this was reduced precisely to this amount na P654.6 million.”

And so, Cui further said: “We would like to request an additional P12.87 million in MOOE and P40.11 million in capital outlay given the decreases in our budget.”

He even asserted that PMS would “undoubtedly play a behind-the-scenes but central role” in efforts to deliver “developmental outcomes as well as definitive communication of developmental gains to the Filipino people.”

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To this, Go responded that they “will take note and study” the request of PMS. Christia Marie Ramos, INQUIRER.net  /kga

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