Sara Duterte sought extra ₱403-M budget for 2022 OVP ops

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — Vice President Sara Duterte immediately sought an additional ₱403.46 million in funding for the rest of 2022, just less than a month after assuming office.

A copy of a letter sent to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Aug. 22 last year showed Duterte wanted the extra funds "to ensure continuous operations" of the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

The letter noted that the additional budget would go to the following purposes:

– ₱144.72 million for "augmentation of financial assistance/subsidy" for her OVP satellite offices in seven areas

– ₱8.74 million for the creation of the Vice President Security and Protection Group

– ₱107.46 million for an additional 192 positions to man her projects, such as satellite offices, free ride program, mobile kitchen, and peace-building initiative in Marawi

– ₱250 million for confidential funds

The letter was signed by the vice president herself.

The DBM, however, only approved ₱221.42 million as based on a special allotment release order or SARO.

The funds were intended "to cover Financial Assistance/Subsidy and Confidential Fund per Office of the President Approval dated November 28, 2022."

Duterte’s office has been on the hot seat over its quest to secure confidential and intelligence funds, even bigger than some agencies engaged in ensuring national security.

Under the General Appropriations Act of 2022, the OVP budget under the leadership of former Vice President Leni Robredo was only ₱713 million. The figure increased to ₱947 million after Duterte took over.