Office of Vice President gets smallest share of 2021 national budget

The Office of Vice President (OVP) Leni Robredo is getting the smallest share in the proposed 2021 national budget.

Robredo presented the proposed P679-million budget of the OVP for 2021. It was lower than last year’s P708-million appropriation after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) slashed OVP’s budget.

“We will make do with what is given to us,” Robredo told the House appropriations committee. The Vice President initially asked for P724 million in funding, including for the purchase of six new vehicles, but was rejected by the DBM.

Robredo’s supporters in the chamber meanwhile called for a higher Office of Vice President budget from 10 to as much as 200% or 300% the OVP’s fund allocation.

Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. described the budget given to OVP as “lowest budget allocation in the entire Philippine bureaucracy.”

“It has been engaging in front-line activities and people empowerment, but still, its budget is the smallest in the entire bureaucracy,” he said.

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Office of Vice President gets smallest share of 2021 national budget

Robredo personally attended Monday’s budget hearing to appeal to to at least grant her office’s proposed P724 million budget.

The proceeds of the OVP’s budget is supposedly for COVID-19 relief and response efforts and livelihood and education programs for marginalized Filipinos.

“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 said.

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. urged his fellow to increase the OVP budget by P113 million.

“Giving this P113 million will go a long way in providing funds to OVP to implement its regular programs and its response to COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Commission on Audit (COA) earlier awarded the Office of Vice President highest audit rating but flagged its slow use of medical assistance program funds worth P122.8 million.