MANILA - The Office of the Vice President's P230.5 million budget proposal for 2016 breezed through the House Committee on Appropriations in record time this budget season - getting approved in just 11 minutes.
The pitch was made by OVP chief of staff, Undersecretary Benjamin Martinez, on behalf of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Martinez told lawmakers this will fund the operations of the OVP in the last six months of the Binay vice-presidency and the first six months of the term of the next Vice-President. Binay is running for President in 2016.
Only committee chair Isidro Ungab and Reps. Nicasio Aliping and Mariano Piamonte asked questions about the budget.
Nothing controversial was taken up.
In contrast, the budget hearings of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Health (DOH) were among the longest this season.
The OVP budget this year is 3.54% higher from the P222.63 million 2015 budget.
There was a 24.78% decrease in capital outlay from P2.6 million to P2.019 million. This was offset by a 2.65% increase in personnel services from P47.5 million to P48.7 million and a 4.23% increase in maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) from P172.43 million to P179.722 million.
The increase in the budget for personnel services was due to higher allocations for personnel benefits, anniversary bonus and loyalty award, terminal leave benefits, performance enhancement initiative and step increments for performance.
The MOOE increase includes the provision for all ongoing programs and projects adjusted for applicable inflation and P2 million for ISO accreditation expenditures.
The capital outlay pertains to the replacement of information and communication equipment and software, as evaluated and recommended by the MITHI steering committee.