MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is reducing his own budget for 2015 by P208 million.
Based on the “indicative” budget ceilings set by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for next year, funding for the Office of the President (OP) would amount to P2,582,457,000.
That amount is P208.2 million lower than this year’s OP outlay of P2,790,665,000, but is P90 million higher than its 2013 budget.
Of the planned P2.582-billion appropriation for the President’s office next year, P641,132,000 would be for salaries and P1,941,325,000 would be for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
A small part of the amount devoted to MOOE would be for capital (equipment, building) expenditures.
This year, the OP has funds for salaries amounting to P608,830,000, P1,998,435,000 for MOOE and P183,400,000 for capital outlay.
This means that OP’s budget for salaries would go up by P33 million, while MOOE expenses would go down by P57 million.
It’s not only Aquino’s budget that would become smaller, based on DBM’s indicative figures.
Even Congress would suffer a reduction in budget. Its two chambers would lose some P376 million, from P10,742,423,000 this year to P10,365,526,000 next year.
The budget of the House of Representatives would dwindle from P6,624,579,000 to P6,465,561,000, or by P159 million, while funding for the Senate would fall from P3,344,359,000 to P3,104,153,000, or by P240 million.
This year, the two chambers increased their budgets by a combined P721 million – P346 million for the Senate and P377 million for the House – compared to the funding levels proposed by the President in his version of the 2014 budget.
Explaining the adjustments, Sen. Francis Escudero, Senate finance committee chairman, and his House counterpart, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, said they just restored their respective chambers’ budgets to their 2013 levels.