Congressmen want to increase the OVP budget for 2021

Vice President Leni Robredo
IMAGE | Vice President Leni Robredo personally 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, at a briefing held Monday, September 14, 2020. (Photo by Jay Ganzon / OVP)

Some lawmakers in the House are pushing to increase or increase the funding of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for next year.

Of the P723.39-million proposed by the OVP, only P679.74-million was approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). It is said that among the cuts in the fund is the provision for the replacement of six unused office vehicles.

This is not the first time that less than the OVP funding proposal has been approved, as over the past three years the small operation of the vice president’s office has also revolved around small funds.

“We make do with what we have, that has always been how it was at the Office of the Vice President,” said Robredo.

The vice president announced to congressmen his office partnerships with the private sector, easing the challenge of the OVP’s small budget.

Since 2016, Robredo’s office has reportedly helped 558,000 families and individuals through his flagship program Angat Buhay.

The said program also crossed the office’s response today to “> gadgets to students, a platform for free websites for job seekers.

Some of these legislators have been impressed by these initiatives, so they want to increase the OVP fund further.

“Pinakamaliit ito na ngayong 2021, samantalang ito yung second highest official of the land, so parang hindi deserve ng OVP yung ganito kaliit na budget. Considering working talaga si Vice President Leni Robredo,”said ACT-Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro.

According to Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, a member of the majority, must restore or cut back on the OVP fund proposal to continue the office’s initiated programs.

“I would like to also suggest and move in some future time that we give at least 10% increase in the budget in the (Office of the) Vice President or another P72-million,”said the congressman adding another P113-million funds in such office.

Also among those who extended support to increase OVP funds were Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado, Baguio City Rep. Marquez Go, and Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite.

“The small budget has never been a hindrance to us, but it would help us greatly if we are given more because that would mean that we will be able to serve people and more communities,” said Robredo.

Committee on Appropriations Vice-Chair Jocelyn Limkaichong assured that the OVP will receive an adequate allocation next year.

“Let us fill in the gaps or augment if necessary so the OVP can perform its mandate.”

Under the budget proposal of the vice president’s office, 69.4% is allocated for community financial assistance. The remaining percentage is for administrative operations.