Palace defends OP travel fund hike: President needs to check on gov’t projects
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday defended the Office of the President’s (OP) increased travel budget, saying that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. needed to check on the different government projects following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the reopening of the economy.
The Commission on Audit flagged the OP’s travel funds, which went up from P36.8 million in 2021 to P403 million in 2022 for both local and foreign travel.
“With the opening of the economy and lifting of restrictions in 2022, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has begun going around the country to ensure that various programs, projects and assistance of the government reach its intended beneficiaries as part of the post-Covid recovery efforts. Moreover, directly connecting with the local governments, local communities and sectoral groups is an integral part of the President’s decision-making process,” the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a statement.
The PCO added that the OP had received many invitations for international events.
“The Office of the President has received a huge volume of invitations for international events, conferences, high-level meetings, and state visits, among others, and the OP has acceded to some of these requests, knowing that the country and the public, in general, will benefit immensely from the President’s participation in these engagements,” the PCO added.
Marcos has gone on various trips since the beginning of his term, and he is set to go to the United States anew this November.