Duterte seeks lower budget for his office
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is requesting a lower budget of P8.23 billion for his office for next year, half of which will be allocated for confidential and intelligence expenses, according to the P4.5-trillion proposed 2021 national budget that the Department of Budget and Management submitted to Congress last week.
The budget proposal has the theme “Reset, Rebound and Recover: Investing for Resiliency and Sustainability,” and is 9.9-percent higher than the P4.1-trillion budget for 2020.
According to the spending plan, the Office of the President requested P8.23 billion for next year, lower than P8.25 billion for 2020.
Subject to audit
Of this figure, P2.25 billion will be allocated for confidential funds while another P2.25 billion will go to intelligence funds.
The presidential office received the same allocation for confidential and intelligence funds for this year. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said confidential and intelligence funds were subject to audit.
Of the funds requested by the President, P6.5 billion will go to maintenance and operating expenses, while P1.1 billion will be spent for personnel services, and P591 million for capital outlays.
The President’s allocation for representation expenses is increasing to P601 million next year, from P418 million this year.
But the President’s travel expenses will decrease in 2021, with a requested budget of P238 million, down from P670 million for 2020.
Mr. Duterte’s main communication arm also sought a lower budget for next year.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) requested P1.58 billion for 2021, lower than P1.69 billion this year.
The PCOO is the government’s premier communications arm, with supervision over the government’s communications strategy, including state-run television and radio networks.
Its main office will get the biggest allocation at P472.2 million, followed by the Bureau of Broadcast Services with P405.5 million, and the Philippine Information Agency with P317.5 million.
The PCOO main office’s requested budget for 2021 is P509 million lower than its approved budget for this year. INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.