Robredo has P33 million for consultants, P25 million for travel expenses, P12 million for rentals, P27 million for representation and P15.5 million for supplies and materials.
Photo by OVP
Leni’s P216-M budget increase survives veto
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — They may be on opposite sides of the political fence, but President Duterte has approved the proposal of Congress to substantially increase the budget for this year of Vice President Leni Robredo, principal leader of the opposition.

The President did not veto the P216-million increase for the Office of the Vice President (OVP), which was an initiative of the Senate.

In the budget he proposed to Congress in July 2018, the President recommended P448 million for Robredo. The Senate increased it to P664 million.

It’s the highest ever allocation for the so-called “spare tire” for the presidency.

Broadcaster Noli de Castro had less than the increase Robredo’s office is getting this year when he was vice president of former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Under the budget endorsed by the President and the Department of Budget and Management, the bulk of the OVP funding – P350 million – will go to maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).

Some P103 million is for salaries, while the rest is for vehicles.

Of the P350 million allocated for Robredo’s MOOE, P197 million is for “financial assistance/subsidy.”

This appropriation is OVP’s source of money for assistance to the poor, for the procurement of relief goods for calamity victims and similar projects.

Robredo has P33 million for consultants, P25 million for travel expenses, P12 million for rentals, P27 million for representation and P15.5 million for supplies and materials.

The P216-million increase the Senate gave her office would most likely be an augmentation for her “financial assistance/subsidy fund,” which is considered as Robredo’s pork barrel.

In exercising his veto power, the President can only scrap new appropriations like the OVP funding increase and P95-billion realignments the House had made. 

Duterte vetoed the congressmen’s realignments for infrastructure projects and health facilities for being not part of his administration’s priority programs.

The President cannot restore funding items deleted by Congress. Thus, reductions the Senate had made in funds for miscellaneous personnel benefits, pension and calamities were carried in the budget law he signed on April 15.

According to House appropriations committee chairman Rolando Andaya Jr., the reductions amounted to more than P80 billion, which he claimed senators diverted to their own pork barrel.

Andaya has urged the Senate to identify who authored each fund realignment.


Robredo yesterday celebrated her 54th birthday in war-torn Marawi City, a beneficiary of her anti-poverty program Angat Buhay.

The Vice President led the launch of the Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon in Marantao, Lanao del Sur.

She also attended the graduation ceremony of the I.M. Women Weaving and Empowerment Program in New Capitol, Poblacion, Marawi City.

Robredo usually spends her birthday in her home and office since she became Vice President.

In a hand-written message, detained Sen. Leila de Lima greeted and thanked Robredo.

“For tirelessly working on your advocacies and serving the country, for standing firm in your principles and living with compassion and respect for human rights,” De Lima’s message read.

Robredo’s daughters – Aika, Tricia and Jillian – also sent their birthday greetings through social media.

Aika described her mother as “everything I aspire to be.”

Tricia, a medical student at the Ateneo de Manila University, called the Vice President her “North Star.”   – With Helen Flores

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