Citing the Vice President Leni Robredo’s handling of funds and initiatives to support the country’s pandemic response, senators crossed party lines to support a bigger budget for the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in 2022.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senators Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, and Sonny Angara said the OVP’s P713.41 million budget should be increased.
The OVP’s allocation next year under the National Expenditure Program that was submitted by the Department of Budget and Management to Congress last month is 21.5% lower than its current budget of P908.79 million.
DBM’s outlay for next year is slightly below the OVP’s proposal of P714.56 million.
Angara, chairperson of the Senate finance committee, considered as “not an unreasonable goal” the proposal of some congressmen of a P1-billion budget for OVP.
“If Ma’am Leni needs P1 billion for her office, then we should give it to her. We have seen how hardworking the Vice President is,” said Zubiri.
For his part, Angara guaranteed to favorably refer the OVP budget to the plenary with increases still to be determined at this point.
Thanking the senators, Robredo said the additional support from the Senate has always been very valuable for them especially as they are doing all the COVID-19 response initiatives.
“It has allowed us to pursue many initiatives and it has proven to be very helpful to those going through the difficulties of the pandemic,” stated Robredo.