House Deputy Minority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera has defended the more than 300% increase in the budget of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in 2023.
Herrera also expressed her belief that every centavo of the OVP budget will be spent wisely to implement existing and upcoming programs and projects of the second highest office in the land.
“I fully support the proposed 2023 budget of the OVP because I believe in the capabilities of VP Sara and I’m sure that the funds allocated to her office will be put to good use,” Herrera said.
Under the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP), the office of Vice President Sara Duterte was allocated P2.3 billion more than thrice its P713.2 million budget this year.
Duterte replaced Atty. Leni Robredo last June 30.
Herrera stressed that the increase was “completely justified” and its use is not without safeguards.
She cited the special provisions in the NEP, particularly the requirement for OVP to submit quarterly reports on its financial and physical accomplishments within 30 days after the end of every quarter.
The NEP provides that the OVP shall send written notice when said reports have been submitted or posted on its website to the DBM, House of Representatives, Senate, House Committee on Appropriations, Senate Committee on Finance, and other offices where the submission of reports is required under existing laws, rules, and regulations.
Aside from providing medical and burial assistance, the OVP has also launched the Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service-Libreng Sakay program in key areas.
The OVP also opened satellite offices in the cities of Dagupan, Cebu, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Davao, and Tandag in Surigao del Sur to make its services more accessible to the people.
Duterte’s office also mulled the establishment of an official residence for the Vice President, which would also benefit future occupants of the post.