MANILA - The Philippine Senate has reported to the nation its overall expenses for year 2019, amounting to a total of P2,350,406,566.67.
The Senate, in a paid advertisement published by the Philippine star on Wednesday, presented its “itemized list of amounts paid to and expenses incurred for each senator,” from January 1, to December 31, 2019.
The list, verified and signed by Senate OIC-Supervising Auditor Marilyn Roxas-Laurente, covered 30 senators, including those who were part of the 17th Congress.
Expenses listed in the published advertisement are the senators’ salaries during the given period; each senator’s extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses; travel of senators and their staff; salaries and benefits of staff; meetings and conferences; professional/consultancy fee; supplies and materials and rental of motor vehicle/equipment.
In the said list, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto topped the senators with a total expenses of P113,484,153.02.
The amount covers the following expenses for the whole stretch of 2019:
Salaries – P3,247,140.00
Allowances and miscellaneous expenses – P14,400,000.00
Travel – (local) P830,459.62; (foreign) P1,457,838.27
Other expenses cover the local and foreign travels of recto’s committee staff; consultancy fees and others related to his office’s operations.
Recto in a statement, acknowledged his being 2019’s “top spender” in the senate.
“I do not dispute the statement. I fully cooperated with COA. Included in the expenses are donations and aid to people and places in distress. I stand by the legislative work, research and output of my legislative team,” Recto said.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiro was the second top spender with a total expenses amounting to P110,625,189.05.
"The list covered the expenses incurred for each senator for the period January 1 to December 31, 2019. We all know that 2019 is an election year. Thus, some of the senators; expenditures covered only half-year and not a full year period," Zubiri explained.
"Be that as it may, the senate officers, namely, the senate president, senate president pro tempore, majority leader and minority leader also have additional budget due to the additional work they have in those leadership positions. Thus most likely, they will incur more expenses as compared with other senators," he added.
Below is the complete list of the senators with their corresponding expenses:
1. Ralph Recto – P113,484,153.02
2. Juan Miguel Zubiri – P110,625,189.05
3. Grace Poe – P107,124,152.64
4. Manny Pacquiao – P106,999,087.83
5. Leila De Lima – P106,447,424.95
6. Aquilino Pimentel III - P105,664,250.13
7. Sherwin Gatchalian – P105,278,449.35
8. Francis Pangilinan – P105,253,403.53
9. Vicente Sotto III – P102,019,240.91
10. Richard Gordon – P99,286,106.95
11. Nancy Binay – P94,153,718.68
12. Risa Hontiveros – P94,128,513.91
13. Panfilo Lacson – P93,673,516.18
14. Sonny Angara – P90,730,266.86
15. Joel Villanueva – P82,550,407.31
16. Cynthia Villar – P82,179,400.27
17. Franklin Drilon – P79,753,698.44
18. Paolo Benigno Aquino – P69,473,846.67
19. Antonio Trillanes IV - P68,445,906.63
20. Gregorio Honasan – P62,484,641.39
21. Francis Escudero – P59,954,463.35
22. Loren Legarda – P58,375,369.52
23. Joseph Victor Ejercito – P57,823,985.24
24. Ramon Revilla Jr.– P48,402,484.85
25. Ronald Dela Rosa – P46,674,682.38
26. Lito Lapid – P45,141,531.82
27. Imee Marcos – P40,934,901.31
28. Pia Cayetano – P40,333.669.43
29. Francis Tolentino – P39,265,603.55
30. Christopher Lawrence Go – P33,744,500.52
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, when sought for reaction on the published Senate list of expenses for 2019, said in a text message: "Anyway, accurate naman 'yun. Kaya no problem. It’s for the people to know where and how we spend their money."