Robredo on ‘underspending’: OVP funds went to calamity victims, the poor

Patty Pasion
Robredo on ‘underspending’: OVP funds went to calamity victims, the poor
In response to a Commission on Audit report, Vice President Leni Robredo says her office had spent 86% of its available budget by the end of 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said her office spent its budget for assistance to poor communities and calamity victims, following a Commission on Audit (COA) report which found that her office underspent in 2016.  

COA’s annual audit showed that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) only spent P130 million out of the P219 million it was given last year. This amounts to around 60% of the total budget.

But Robredo, on her radio show on Sunday, July 2, clarified that the OVP spent 86% of its available budget.  

“Ang hindi nakita, do’n sa P219 million, ang na-re-release pa lang ay P151, P151 million. Do’n sa P151 million, ang nagastos dito, P130 million na, so ibig sabihin hindi lang 60% kundi 86%,” explained the Vice President.

(What they didn’t see is that out of the P219 million, only P151 million had been released. And out of that amount, we spent P130 million. So that means we spent 86% of the available budget and not 60%.)

Spending also slowed down before she became vice president, said Robredo, because it was the election period and funds were on hold. This was from February to May last year, during the time of former vice president Jejomar Binay.

When she took on the OVP leadership, Robredo said they used P125 million from the P151 million for medical assistance, funeral assistance, and transportation assistance for indigents. The remaining P3 million was used for victims of calamities.

In a statement, the OVP said the unreleased portion of the 2016 budget – P68 million – can still be used for 2017 and that they have already spent 50% of it.

Aside from underspending, state auditors also found that there were unliquidated funds amounting to around P259,310.

The OVP responded to this, saying “corrective action” has already been taken. – Rappler.com 

 

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.