MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday asked lawmakers for more funds for her office after its proposed 2019 appropriation was lowered by P100 million by the Department of Budget and Management.
The Office of the Vice President is seeking a budget of P455.85 million for 2019, down from P550.99 million this year.
The P100 million slashed from its budget could fund livelihood subsidies for poor areas under the OVP's Angat Buhay project, Robredo told reporters after presenting her office's proposed budget before the House appropriations committee.
"'Pag inalis 'yun next year, babalik kami sa 2016 and 2017 na entirely dependent kami on private sector support," she said.
(If that is taken from us, we will return to our set-up in 2016 and 2017, where we were entirely dependent on private sector support.)
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, who chairs the appropriations panel, told Robredo during the hearing that lawmakers are "trying to resolve all of these things within our means as well."
"'Wag kayo mag-alala. Hanapan natin ng paraan lahat ang problemang ito. Hanapan natin ng solusyon," he said.
BUDGET CUT DUE TO OPPOSITE VIEWS?
Robredo declined to speculate if the budget cut was connected to her stance as opposition leader.
“Mahirap naman kasi mag-speculate kasi ang alam natin 'di lang opisina namin yung nabawasan," she said.
(It is difficult to speculate because we know it's not just our office whose budget was lowered.)
The OVP utilized 95 percent of its budget in 2017, Robredo noted as she maintained, "Wala naman talagang dahilan para 'di pagkatiwala sa amin yung budget."
(There is no justification for not entrusting us with the budget.)
The House appropriations committee has approved the OVP's proposed budget. It will be transmitted to the plenary for approval.
Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News