As House panel approves recommended P447-68M
VP Leni appeals to lawmakers: Keep budgetary support for Angat Buhay communities
Vice President Leni Robredo appealed to lawmakers to at least maintain the Office of the Vice President’s current budget, in order to sustain its assistance to some of the poorest communities around the country.
As she has done for past budget deliberations, VP Leni appeared before the House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday, August 29, to personally present the 2019 budget for the OVP, and to make the said appeal amid the P100-million reduction to their proposed allocation.
“That would mean we would not be able to continue with our livelihood assistance for our adopted LGUs. And if you look at the records, all our adopted LGUs are the poorest, the farthest, of our communities, so the livelihood assistance would have meant a great deal in supporting them,” she said.
The Vice President noted that depending on private partnerships alone cannot address the most urgent needs of the communities adopted under the program.
“We would like to make this appeal, Mr. Chair: Sana po kahit ibalik lang iyong dati,” she added. “The office has been used to working within our means, pero iyong pagbawas [sa 2019 budget], it’s not for operations, but it’s really for livelihood assistance.”
For his part, Rep. Karlo Nograles, chairperson of the panel, assured that they would find a way “to resolve all these things within our means.”
The committee then made a swift approval of the P447.6-million allocation for the OVP, as recommended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
VP Leni’s office submitted a proposed budget of P549.6 million for 2019, only a P6-million increase from its allocation for the current year.
DBM recommended a P447.6-million allocation for the OVP—some P95 million less than the P543 million that the office received for 2018.
The difference would mean significant reductions for the office, including P80 million less for locally funded projects.