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PHL hosting of ASEAN Summit in 2017 hikes OP budget to P20B

The proposed budget for the Office of the President (OP) in 2017 increased substantially from P2.8 billion to P20 billion because of the Philippines’ hosting of the ASEAN Summit next year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Monday.

“We’re hosting the ASEAN golden anniversary, that’s P15 billion. Sa OP talaga ‘yan,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno explained during a media briefing at the ceremonial turnover of the proposed national budget to the House of Representatives.

“Later on, kapag na-approve na ‘yun, depende kung sino gagamit na agency. Isasabog din naman ‘yun [sa agencies],” Diokno said.

In 2016, the OP received P2.86 billion. Next year, it will get P20.03 billion, more than P19 billion of which will go to maintenance and other operating expenses.

Meanwhile, the budget for the Office of the Vice President was decreased from the current budget of P504 million to P433 million.

In his budget message to the 17th Congress, President Rodrigo Duterte dubbed the 2017 national expenditure program as a “budget for real change.”

The DBM is proposing a P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017, 11.6 percent higher than the 2016 budget of P3.002 trillion. — Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/RSJ, GMA News