Binay chief of staff: There's enough budget left for Vice President-elect Robredo

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VP Jejomar Binay's chief of staff Benjie Martinez (right) met with Leni Robredo's transition team head Boyet Dy (left) to formally turnover the Office of the Vice President.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) Vice President Jejomar Binay will be leaving the bulk of the ₱500 million budget for his office this year to his successor, Leni Robredo, his chief of staff said Thursday.

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has spent less than 20 percent of its budget for 2016, leaving Robredo with enough money for the remaining six months of the year, said Benjie Martinez.

Robredo transition team head Boyet Dy, who met with division heads of the OVP Thursday, said the remaining funds would help them push Robredo’s anti-poverty and agricultural development projects.

"We're really very grateful to the current Office of the Vice President for what they've turned over to make sure we have enough fiscal space to be able to push our own advocacies and programs," said Dy.

During the vice presidential debate, the widow of interior secretary Jesse Robredo said she wants to take the lead in streamlining the government's anti-poverty programs. However, she still hasn’t been given a Cabinet post by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Coconut Palace

Robredo's team said the vice president’s staff won't be moved to a new location at least until the end of the year.


Binay used the Coconut Palace in Pasay City for ceremonial gatherings, but much of his day-to-day operations were conducted at the nearby PNB building. Most of the OVP employees will continue to serve under Robredo because only 26 of them staff are co-terminus with Binay.

Robredo has said the ₱440,000 rent for the Coconut Palace is too expensive for the government. But considering that she is taking over the vice presidency in just a couple of weeks away, she might still use it at least  during her first few months in office, Dy said.

Martinez said Binay has been packing up his personal belongings at the Coconut Palace.