VP Robredo's office allots majority of proposed 2021 budget to cash aid

RG Cruz,ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2020 03:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2020 03:47 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo appears before the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives to present the proposed budget of the Office of the Vice President for Fiscal Year 2021 on September 14, 2020. Jay Ganzon, OVP

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Office of the Vice President allocated more than half of its proposed 2021 budget to financial assistance, it told lawmakers Monday.

Majority or P387.60 million of the P679.73 million OVP's budget is allotted for cash aid, the OVP said in its briefer to the House Appropriations Committee.

It accounts to an average of 61 percent of OVP's maintenance and other operating expenses or 51 percent of the total budget since 2016.

The spending plan is some P44 million less than the office's proposed P723.387 million to the Department of Budget and Management. The DBM-approved budget is some P15.4 million less than the funding it received in 2020, the OVP said in a statement.

The OVP's proposal to buy 6 replacement motor vehicles amounting to P11 million was also denied by the budget agency, it added.

"In essence, your honors, what we’re doing is just trying to fill in the gaps. We are fully aware that our office is very small. We’re very small not just with the number of staff that we have, but we’re very small in terms of resources. So we’re making do with what we have,” Robredo told lawmakers.

"The main goal is to serve as a platform for the convening stakeholders to collaborate in taking on the complex challenges facing our country, and delivering results that could be felt by Filipinos, especially the marginalized," the OVP said in the briefer.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Baguio Rep. Mark Go and ACT Teachers Rep, France Castro asked the committee to consider hiking the OVP's budget considering its performance.

The OVP also submitted an accomplishment report. The committee has terminated its budget briefing for Robredo's office.

Robredo's office has received the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit (COA) since 2018.