Office of the President to get 600% increase in proposed 2017 budget

Posted on August 19, 2016

THE Office of the President under the proposed 2017 budget will be allotted P20.03 billion, a 600% increase from just P2.86 billion earmarked for this year.

“The safeguards are in place, first the CoA (Commission on Audit) is there, and the Congress is there to do our oversight function. The people can act as the auditors of the government. The President has issued [the] freedom of information executive order just to show that it is transparent and the book is open,” Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, said when asked about the significant increase in the budget for the Office of the President.

Mr. Nograles assures safeguards are in place to ensure that the proposed P3.35-trillion 2017 national budget will be “pork-free,” in line with a 2013 ruling by the Supreme Court.

He added that when the budget briefings start, “each and every representative will now begin to question the different departments.”

The Supreme Court in 2013 ruled the pork barrel as unconstitutional, thus deeming an end to the practice of lawmakers to nominate their pet projects through lump sum allocation in the annual budget.

Budget deliberations at the House of Representatives will begin on Aug. 22. Mr. Nograles said they are targeting to submit the budget for plenary debates by Sept. 19 and expect it to go past the third reading by the end of that month. -- Raynan F. Javil