Senate OKs ₱6.7-B 2019 budget for Office of the President

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 29) —  The Senate approved Thursday the 2019 budget for the Office of the President (OP) amounting ₱6.77 billion.

The amount is higher than OP's current allocation of ₱6.03 billion.

Based on the appropriations, ₱5.18 billion will be allocated to maintenance and operating expenses, ₱1.07 billion pesos to personnel services, and 511 million pesos to capital outlay.

Malacanang officials explained the increase in the budget is due to the Salary Standardization Law, which provides salary increase to government workers.

The President's proposed intelligence expenses remained unchanged at ₱1.25 billion and confidential expenses stayed at ₱1.25 billion.

The House of Representatives yesterday approved the appropriation in just 10 minutes, with opposition lawmaker Albay Representative Edcel Lagman making the motion quickly after the OP presented its plans.

Lagman said doing so has been the tradition at the House of Representatives, but he noted that congressmen can still ask questions once the budget proposal reaches the plenary.

Some congressmen earlier questioned the cuts in the proposed 2019 budget of some key departments such as that of the Department of Health, Department of Education and Department of Public Works and Highway, adding this will hurt the delivery of projects.