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Aprub in 10 minutes! House panel OKs P6.7B budget for Office of the President

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Malacañang on Wednesday defended proposed 12.32 percent increase in the budget of the Office of the President (OP) for 2019, citing the rising inflation brought by the Tax Reform for Accelaration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

During the budget hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said that aside high inflation rate, the implementation of the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL), as well as the retrofitting of office-owned buildings, and replacement of worn-out tools and equipment are the primary considerations for the Php 834-million increase in their proposed Php 6.773 billion budget

The amount is 12.32 percent higher than this year’s funding of P6.031 billion.

Medialdea, acccompanied by Undersecretary Rizalina Justol of the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration, presented the details of the OP’s budget proposal, that included personnel services at Php 1.078 billion, an increase of 8.45 percent from this year’s budget.

Meanwhile, maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) shall get Php 5.184 billion, an 11.09 percent increase from this year’s Php 4.666 billion allocation while the OP’s capital outlay (CO) will have a Php 511.663 million allocation.

The OP’s budget presentation which was presided by the panel chair, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, was immediately approved within 10 minutes, following the tradition of the House of Representatives.

Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was present during the budget briefing.

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