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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Lawmakers support budget for Ombudsman

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The House of Representatives committee on appropriations on Thursday rallied behind the P4.78-billion budget for 2023 of the Office of the Ombudsman, the government body tasked to prosecute corrupt public officials and their cohorts.

The panel, chaired by Ako-Bicol Rep. Elizaldy Co of Ako-Bicol, also decided to terminate the budget hearing of the agency since no questions had been asked about the agency’s proposed budget.

The Ombudsman’s proposed budget for next year contains P51.4 million in confidential funds.

In terms of program expenditure classification, the Ombudsman allocated the lion’s share of its budget or P783.208 million to its anti-corruption investigation program.

The agency’s anti-corruption enforcement program, which includes whistleblower accounts and rewards, got the second highest amount with P586.201 million.

The corruption prevention program got allocated P99.5 million, while the Ombudsman public assistance programs got P85.3 million.

Other salient provisions of the Ombudsman’s proposed 2023 budget include: P142.6 million for supporting the office’s productivity and replacing aging information and communications technology equipment; P19 million for the acquisition of motor vehicles for use of various Ombudsman offices; P48.75 million for acquisition of new and replacement of depreciated office equipment, furniture and fixtures and P18 million for acquisition of communication, medical and other property, plant and equipment.

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