The Philippine Racing Commission’s 2023 budget cut of P50 million would result in fewer races and job losses, according to PhilRaCom Chairman Aurelio de Leon, who led his team in their budget presentation before the Senate sub-committee on finance hearing on Tuesday.
De Leon said horse racing in the country is being categorized now as part of tourism.
The agency has projected an overall estimated sale of P3.260 billion for this year with a projected revenue of P92.8 million for year 2022.
PhilRaCom oversees 2,450 races for 252 race days, the agency reported.
“Hopefully in two to three years-time, we will be compared to other neighboring countries, with sales of more than P100 million per year,” De Leon said.
PhilRaCom is asking for a P243 million budget but was only given P193 million in the National Expenditure Program (NEP).
The budget cut, according to De Leon, would mean lower cash prizes for winning horses.
“Siyempre hihina ang karera. Maaaring mabawasan ang araw ng karera, mabawasan po yung employment ng tao. Tapos yung stud farm na hinahawakan ng Department of Agriculture for so many years, ibibigay na po sa amin. So wala po kaming gagastusin dun,” de Leon said.
All sales are mandated to be remitted to the government, De Leon said.
Senator JV Ejercito, sub-committee on finance panel chairman, opened the possibility of reverting the PhilRaCom's budget to its originally requested P243 million.
“We’ll do our best to restore your requested P50 million na nawala,” Ejercito said.
Meanwhile, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) Secretary Mark Llandro Mendoza detailed where the agency will spend its proposed P104.790 million budget.
The PLLO consolidates the Senate, Lower House and other sectors’ support for presidential initiatives; performs oversight, monitoring and other functions for the President’s and the Cabinet’s legislative agenda and implementation of news laws; and, monitor and informs the President daily of the progress of all administration bills and other measures affecting the Presidency, existing government programs and other over-all government machinery.
“The PLLO plays a crucial role in ensuring that the key legislative measures of the administration are passed by the Congress. It is mandated by law to officially orchestrate the formulation of the executive-legislative agenda and all other concerns of the executive department having to do with legislation,” Ejercito said.
The PLLO currently handles 23 measures certified by the President and is now in constant coordination with two chambers to avoid the repetition of vetoed measures.
“So far napa-finetune na po natin (ang process and consultations) so that pagdating po sa chamber, finetuned na po sya,” Mendoza told the panel.
The Freeport Area of Bataan Authority meantime presented its contributed revenues as of June 2022, at P853.14 million or at least P1.6 billion in tax collections by the end of the year, and P1.8 billion for year 2023.
The Department of Budget and Management has allotted a P191.26 million allocation for next year, which will finance some of the agency’s projects.
The Senate subcommittee on finance later approved the proposed budgets for next year of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO), Philippine Racing Commission (PhilRaCom), and the Freeport of Bataan Authority.