MANILA, Philippines – The House Appropriations Committee has approved the Php 673 million budget of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for 2020.

The budget is Php 2 million higher than the OVP’s budget for 2019. The deliberation took less than half an hour, with no objections raised.

Two lawmakers meanwhile made a manifestation to further augment the OVP’s budget, noting that the office’s programs and projects “really touch the lives of many people.”

The additional amount, however, was not discussed during the panel’s budget hearing.

Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez noted that OVP’s maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) only increased .44 percent for 2020.

The OVP needs additional budget, especially for its anti-poverty programs, he cited.

“The program ‘Angat Buhay’ of the Vice President, the ‘Ahon Laylayan’ and the ‘Storya ng Pag-asa,’ certainly require additional budget because their programs really go directly to the people,” Rodriguez said.

“I am moving that this committee look into this budget with the end view of increasing and augmenting the MOOE so that the projects of the Vice President would really be financed,” he added.

Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado echoed Rodriguez’s move to increase the budget support for the OVP.

“I support that we have to in effect increase the budget of the OVP considering the activities being undertaken by the office and its other programs and projects really touch the lives of many people in the so-called ‘laylayan’ sector,” he said.

Vice President Leni Robredo was not able to attend the budget hearing and was represented by her Chief-of-Staff Philip Dy. The Vice President’s flight from Naga was canceled due to tropical storm “Jenny.”

Photo from Manila Bulletin

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