MANILA – The House of Representatives appropriations committee on Tuesday approved the proposed budgets of the Office of the President (OP) and the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for 2017.
The OP’s recommended budget of PHP19.99 billion was approved in less than ten minutes, while the OVP’s 2017 budget of PHP428.6 million was approved within three minutes.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said that it is a House “tradition” that the OP is liberated from interpellations during the appropriations committee hearing.
The OVP budget likewise hurdled the House panel unquestioned since Vice President Leonor Robredo was a former representative of Camarines Sur. It is a tradition of Congress not to question government offices or agencies led by former members of the House of Representatives.
The OP’s PHP19.99 billion budget surged by 607 percent, which is PHP17 billion higher than the current budget of PHP2 billion. The bulk of the increase is attributed to the funding of the ASEAN 2017 hosting with an allotment of PHP15.45 billion.
The OVP budget, on the other hand is 14.28 percent lower than the 2016 budget of PHP500 million. The major thrusts of the OVP will focus in addressing hunger and food security, rural development, universal health care, education, and people empowerment.