Cagayan De Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez is urging the House of Representatives to increase the budget of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) to allow it to continue its programs and project for communities.
Rodriguez, a member of the administration-allied majority bloc at the House, made the remark during the budget briefing for the 2020 national budget of Vice President Leni Robredo's office.
During the hearing, Robredo's chief of staff, Undersecretary Philip Dy, defended the OVP's budget on behalf of the Vice President, who failed to come as her flight from Naga City was cancelled due to the bad weather.
The OVP proposed a P684-million budget for 2020, but the Department of Budget and Management only recommended P673-million for the office under the National Expenditure Program.
But as soon as Dy finished presenting the OVP's budget only, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman moved to terminate the hearing "subject to augmentation which the Committee on Appropriations and/or the plenary may make and approve."
Such courtesy has traditionally been given by the House to the OVP, as well as to the Office of the President.
The OVP's budget hearing then only took less than 30 minutes.
But before the hearing could finally be terminated, Rodriguez manifested that the House should augment the budget of the OVP for maintenance and other operating expenses so that it could continue doing its projects such as the Angat Buhay program, the Ahon Laylayan coalition, and the Istorya ng Pag-asa Film Festival.
"We certainly can see that the Office of the Vice President has been doing a good job in having these programs be brought to the people. We also cherish her statements contrary to the administration's position," Rodriguez said.
"I am therefore moving that the committee look into this budget increasing and augmenting the MOOE so that the projects of the vice president would be financed," he added.
Rodriguez said that in the proper time and forum, he would move not only for the approval of the OVP's budget but also to augment it.
"So that the Office of the Vice President can continue to be able to reach our people in the countryside, be able to give service to our people, and therefore the Office of the Vice President will be able to bring in development in the different communities in our country," he said. —LDF, GMA News