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    Solons laud VP Leni’s efforts amid COVID-19 crisis, push to increase OVP budget for FY 2021

    Solons laud VP Leni’s efforts amid COVID-19 crisis, push to increase OVP budget for FY 2021

    Lawmakers from the House of Representatives praised Vice President Leni Robredo and her office for its efforts to uplift the lives of Filipinos through its Angat Buhay program, and its comprehensive response to the pandemic during a budget hearing this morning.

    The solons also called for an increase to the budget of the Office of the Vice President for Fiscal Year 2021, in order to further support its initiatives for Filipinos in need, especially amid the continued effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

    VP Leni personally appeared before the House Committee on Appropriations for the briefing held Monday, September 14, where she presented her office’s initiatives, in particular those that address COVID-19-related needs. Here, the Vice President noted that her office initially proposed a budget of P723.39 million, but the Department of Budget and Management recommended only P679.74 million for 2021, a cut to the P708.02 million it received in 2020.

    “In essence, your honors, what we’re doing is just trying to fill in the gaps. We are fully aware that our office is very small. We’re very small not just with the number of staff that we have, but we’re very small in terms of resources. So we’re making do with what we have,” VP Leni said.

    “Basically, your honors, from our shuttle services, our dormitories, our assistance to communities, all the other things that we have been doing, that is made possible because of collaboration with mostly private partners. So we are confident, your honors, that with our proposed budget next year, we can further expand the work with our partners to contribute to our shared goal of defeating the virus and improving the lives of our people,” she added.

    During the interpellation, Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado asked his fellow lawmakers “to recalibrate the budget allocation,” and take into consideration the projects of the office and how it is “at the forefront” of the country’s COVID-19 response.

    Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez then pushed to give the OVP its original proposed budget, plus an additional 10 percent of this allocation.

    According to Rodriguez, “there is more need to augment [the budget of] the Office of the Vice President, as it already has programs on how to respond to the needs of our people for COVID-19.” He added that “it should be upon us now to be able to lend support” for the Vice President’s work, especially since the country will continue to bear the effects of the pandemic by next year.

    Baguio City Rep. Mark Go took the proposal a step further, and said the OVP should receive double its proposed budget for 2021. 

    For her part, Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong, vice-chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, said that it is “incumbent upon Congress to ensure that the Office of the Vice President will receive adequate allocation for 2021.”

    VP Leni welcomed the lawmakers’ manifestations, saying that this will help the OVP reach out to more Filipinos in need, especially during the pandemic.

    “We will be very much honored if our budget will be increased,” she said. “We have been so used to making do, but an increased budget will allow us to do more things, so it’ll be very much appreciated.”


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    Posted in Press Releases on Sep 14, 2020