Different from other budget approval, the submitted P19.99 billion budget of the Office of the President (OP) for 2017 has been approved by the House of representatives appropriations in less than 10 minutes.
The budget was presented by the OP's Deputy Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration Rizalina Justol. According to her presentation, OP's budget was increased by 607 percent. 77% of which, equivalent to P15.46 billion, will be used for the Philippines hosting the 50th anniversary of the Asean summit this coming 2017.
“The P15.4 billion was intended to cover the expenses for the leaders’ summit, the senior officials’ meeting, as well as activities for the 50th founding anniversary of the Asean in 2017,” Justol said.
From P500 Million this 2016, OP's included P2billion budget for confidential and intelligence funds which is a 300% increase. This is, according to Justol, "to sustain the campaign against illegal drugs.”
Meanwhile, LP's Albay Rep Edcel Lagman said that he is to reserve his questions about the shocking 607% increase in the OP budget for the General Appropriations Act plenary debates. He furthered pointed out that is is not a tradition in Congress after all, to question president's budget before the appropriations committee.
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