AMLC, DDB, other agencies got smaller share of 2021 budget than OVP – Defensor
MANILA, Philippines — Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor on Wednesday said that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) does not have the smallest share of the 2021 national budget.
In a statement, Defensor said that P387.6 million or 57 percent of the OVP’s proposed P679.9 million budget for next year is actually for “subsidy/financial assistance” or dole-outs.
Defensor, chairman of the House public accounts committee, added that other government agencies are even getting smaller fractions of the proposed P4.506 trillion 2021 national budget.
“For instance, P85.2 million is budgeted for the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), P146 million for the Anti-Red Tape Authority, P344.5 million for the Dangerous Drugs Board, and P172.3 million for the Commission on Filipinos Overseas,” Defensor said. “Maybe, we should increase the budget for the AMLC so it could catch money launderers.”
“Let’s set the record straight in fairness to President Duterte, who proposed the P4.5-trillion national budget for next year. The P679.7 million he recommended for the OVP is not the tiniest allocation in the bureaucracy as was made to appear,” he added.
It was on Monday when Vice President Leni Robredo presented her office’s proposed budget for 2021, which was lower than this year’s budget of P708 million.
The OVP originally sought P724 million in funding but was rejected by the Department of Budget and Management.
Because of this, several lawmakers lobbied for a higher budget for the OVP, with some even suggesting that her office’s funding be doubled.
But Defensor said that Duterte and his economic team have proposed to have reductions in funding because of financial difficulties brought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is the reason why the OVP funding for next year is P28 million less than this year’s P708 million. The President himself is proposing a P11-million reduction in the budget for his own office,” he said.
He also pointed out that the OVP’s outlay increased by 59 percent since Robredo’s full year in office in 2017 when Congress gave her office P428.6 million.
“Since then, Congress has been padding her budget. Her subsidy/financial assistance went up from P177.6 million in 2017 to P277.6 million in 2018 to P387.6 million this year and next year. Congress has been generous to the Vice President. Her supporters have no reason to complain,” he said.
He added that other components of the OVP’s proposed 2021 budget are P117.3 million for salaries, P3.7 million for capital outlay, P28.3 million for travel, P6.6 million for communication, P26.6 million for representation and entertainment, and P41.8 million for consultants. [ac]
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