2018 budget for OP slashed
THE PROPOSED budget for the Office of the President (OP) has been slashed in the proposed expenditure program next year, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in an interview at Malacañang on Thursday, July 13.
“Bagsak na yung OP kasi tinanggal na yung ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)...So magno-normalize na yung budget ng OP,” Mr. Diokno said, without elaborating how much the budget has been reduced. (The budget for OP has been reduced because [the Philippines’ chairmanship of the ASEAN meetings ends by this year]. So the budget for OP [is back to normal].)
The OP received more than a 600% hike in funding in this year’s budget -- with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s intelligence fund increasing almost five-fold compared with the same appropriation during the time of his predecessor.
The 2017 ASEAN summit was given a P15.5 billion appropriation, bigger than the P10 billion budget the previous administration prepared for hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2015.
Mr. Duterte and his Cabinet approved on July 3 the proposed P3.767-trillion 2018 budget, which is about 12.4% more than the 2017 edition.
As the Budget department plans to submit the 2018 general appropriations act right on Mr. Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on July 24, Mr. Diokno earlier said that he hopes legislation can hurdle both houses of Congress by October.