Senate panel approves P6.7 billion budget for Office of the President

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2018 11:28 PM

Office of the President gets P2.5 billion intel fund

MANILA - The Senate committee on finance has approved the Office of the President’s proposed 2019 budget amounting to P6.7 billion.

Its proposed budget is higher than this year’s budget of around P6.031 billion.

The same committee also gave its nod to the Presidential Management Staff’s submitted budget of P6.1 million, a slight increase compared with this year's P5.9 million.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea led the OP in presenting its budget to the committee.

The glitch-free OP budget approval at the committee level only centered on committee chair Sen. Loren Legarda's queries as to how the OP team is providing daily briefing to the president.

Legarda also asked about the P2.5 billion OP’s intelligence fund for next year.

“This may include all information, events and incidents in terms of the risk or implications or threat to the overall security and stability of the nation," Deputy Executive Secretary Alberto Bernardo explained.

Included in the list of units operating under the Office of the President engaged in gathering intelligence information are the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission, Philippine Center on Transnational Crime, Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces Agreement, National Coast Watch System, and the Presidential Situation Room. 

Bernardo said President Rodrigo Duterte, as chairman of the National Security Adviser, also conducts his own validation and additional parallel intelligence activities.

“The President would not entirely rely on the submission of the NSC and other intel practitioners in the situation room,” he said.

Medialdea said the President receives a report twice daily.