DND: ₱75M earmarked for VP Duterte's security escorts for 2024

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — Around ₱75 million from the Department of National Defense’s (DND) proposed 2024 budget will be allocated to the Vice President’s (VP) 345 security escorts, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro revealed on Thursday.

During the House of Representatives panel deliberations for DND’s ₱229 billion budget for 2024, Teodoro also confirmed the 433 non-plantilla/detailed personnel under the "Vice Presidential Security and Protection Group" or VPSPG. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/9/1/office-of-vice-president-sara-duterte-security-escort-audit.html

“Kaya 400 po yan dahil OVP (Office of the Vice President), mga advance locations na pinupuntahan niya, DepEd (Department of Education), rotation ng mga staff, at support ho sa kanyang opisina,” Teodoro listed.

[Translation: That’s 400 because of the OVP, advance locations she goes to, DepEd, the rotation of the staff and support to her office.]

ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro questioned the large number of escorts, an issue that also received backlash from other lawmakers.

“On previous VPs, as far back in the 80s, they made do with mainly a small detail lang po," Castro recalled. "Ngayon mukhang di nagkakasya sa isang humble unit with humble funds ang VP at ang pamilya nito."

[Translation: On previous VPs, as far back in the 80s, they made do with mainly a small detail. Now it seems that the VP and her family cannot do with only a humble unit with humble funds.]

Duterte earlier said comparisons with previous vice presidents are "absurd" and "completely lacking basis," pointing out that she has other duties such as being Education secretary. 

Teodoro also had to explain that the VPSPG funding is only sub-allocated under the General Headquarters-Armed Forces of the Philippines budget after Castro questioned why the funds are not indicated in DND’s proposal.