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    Presentation of Vice President Leni Robredo Senate Committee on Finance Hearing on the Proposed 2022 Budget of the Office of the Vice President

    Presentation of Vice President Leni Robredo Senate Committee on Finance Hearing on the Proposed 2022 Budget of the Office of the Vice President

    At the Office of the Vice President, we remain committed to responding to the needs of our people despite limited resources. We’ve exerted all efforts in making sure that we are able to contribute in the best way we can to the challenges before us. Next slide, please.

    Prior to our term, the main service program that the OVP offers directly to the public is its Medical Assistance Program. From August 2016 to September 2021, the total amount utilized for medical assistance has reached P1.23B, serving 92,373 beneficiaries. We currently have 30 partner hospitals and service providers all over the country to ensure that our help is made accessible to more indigent and vulnerable Filipinos nationwide. Next slide, please.

    But since 2016, we resolved to transform the office to do more than just provide medical assistance. We launched our flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay, where we partner with private sector organizations so that we can serve more communities in issues spanning from universal health care to rural development. To date, we have engaged 346 organizations as partners, mobilizing more than P450 million, which benefited more than 500,000 families and individuals in 223 cities and municipalities. Next slide, please.

    It is the same power of partnerships that we have harnessed to launch one program after another as the needs evolved due to the pandemic. The OVP COVID-19 Response Initiatives were rolled out as early as before the first lockdown. While some of the initiatives concluded last year, others continued to be implemented in 2021, together with new programs. Next slide, please.

     

    PPEs, Food and Care Packages, and locally produced PPEs

    The first problem that confronted us was the lack of PPEs for our medical frontliners. We initially appropriated P5.995 million from our funds for the purchase of PPEs sets.

    To further address the gap, we partnered with our Angat Buhay partner, Kaya Natin Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, and did a donation drive from March 13 to April 30, 2020. Almost P55 million was raised out of that.

    To meet supply and demand, we pursued a more sustainable alternative by partnering with local designers and medical experts in locally producing PPEs. This doubled as income generation for 23 sewing communities from Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Cebu, Lanao del Sur, and Nueva Ecija. 

    From March 2020 to present, we were already able to distribute 575,550 PPE sets and other medical supplies, serving 38,370 frontliners, plus an additional 49,276 locally produced PPEs, serving 1,181 institutions. Food and care packages, as well as hot meals, were also distributed to communities and medical institutions.

     

    Transportation of LSIs 

    The OVP also facilitated the transport of 1,797 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in partnership with LGUs and the Presidential Management Staff.

     

    Free shuttle

    We also offered free shuttle services. When public transportation was suspended after the declaration of ECQ in March 2020, we offered free shuttle service for health workers and affected frontliners. This was made possible with the help of partners and volunteers, such as the UBE Express and Diamond Motor Corporation.

    Shuttle service for frontliners operated in two phases: first was during the ECQ from March 18 to April 14, 2020; the second one during the ECQ from August 4 to 18, 2020. Overall, the program served 20,384 passengers. 

     

    Free dorms and services 

    Free dormitories were also offered to frontliners. We opened 12 dormitories and four temporary shelters, serving a total of 498 frontliners and essential staff. Sheltered frontliners also received other amenities and services, such as free WiFi access and even haircut services. 

     

    Community Kitchen

    The OVP also set up Community Kitchens to address hunger in the poorest communities affected by the pandemic. The initiative continues this year but has shifted to donations received from various donors.

     

    Community Mart

    The OVP also launched Community Mart. It is an app-based online palengke service. With the help of LGUs and TODA associations, this provided livelihood to market vendors and tricycle drivers who were affected by the lockdowns. The initiative was launched in Kamuning Market in Quezon City; Pasig Mega Market in Pasig; and Muntinlupa Public Market in Muntinlupa. Some P31.3 million in total sales was generated for partner market vendors.  

               

    Bayanihan Sugbuanon

    When a surge of cases placed Cebu under ECQ in July to August last year, we sent a team to Cebu and replicated our COVID-19 Response Initiatives in the province. This included free dorms, and free shuttle and ferry services between Olango Island and Mactan Island. The office allocated P2.25 million to cover the expenses for assistance to communities in the form of relief packs. Next slide, please.

     

    Test Kits

    The OVP also turned over testing kits to support more testing by LGUs and different medical institutions. A total of 54,262 extraction, detection, and antigen testing kits were provided to LGUs in Lanao del Sur and Dinagat Islands, and to medical institutions like the Iloilo City COVID-19 Laboratory and the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center.

    For 2021, a total of 1,100 rapid antigen testing kits that were donated to the OVP were turned over to the Philippine Orthopedic Center and the 6th District of Quezon City. 


    Oasis

    Through IKEA and the support of partner architects, engineers and interior designers, the OVP also put up temporary shelters called Project Oasis. These were installed within the premises of the Lung Center of the Philippines, Chinese General Hospital, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, and Manila Doctors Hospital. These were used for general operations of the institutions, such as quarantine facilities and triage centers, or as places where healthcare workers can rest after work.

     

    Bayanihanapbuhay

    To help individuals who lost their livelihood during the pandemic, the OVP launched sikap.ph—a jobs-matching platform designed to help our kababayans get back on their feet. Since the launch, 29,418 job vacancies were posted.

    We also launched Bayanihan Mart through iskaparate.com, where we help MSMEs build an online presence and increase their income despite the pandemic. Through this, their products and services have reached wider markets, and customers can directly buy their goods. 

     

    Bayanihan e-Skwela

    To address the challenges of blended learning, we launched Bayanihan e-Skwela. It has three components: (1) provision of gadgets to learners in need; (2) production of instructional videos for parents and teachers to cope with the new setup; and (3) the establishment of Community Learning Hubs. 
    For the gadget donated drive: a total of 3,647 gadgets were donated to mostly college students who did not have the capacity to buy gadgets of their own.

    To help parents and educators cope with the adjustments of blended learning, the OVP partnered with the UP College of Education and creatives to come up with instructional videos that will guide them through the new modalities. A total of 23 videos were produced, all available at our Bayanihan e-Skwela Facebook and YouTube pages.

    The OVP also set up Community Learning Hubs in 58 locations in areas nationwide. The facility aims to provide learners with a safe and conducive space for learning. 5,696 beneficiaries have benefitted from our Community Learning Hub services—thank you to 832 volunteers who act as our tutors, and the generosity of more than 12 partners and organizations. In 2021, an additional 29 expansion sites are being prepared. Aside from these, we have 66 other areas applying as new sites. Next slide, please.

    The OVP also invested more resources this year to expand efforts to boost jobs and support livelihoods. 

     

    Sustainable Livelihood and Training

    Our Sustainable Livelihood and Training program supports emerging entrepreneurs in profit-driven ventures that can also benefit communities they belong to. To date, we have mobilized P1.2 million for 118 individuals and P10.9 million to 29 civil society organizations, with a total of 1,680 beneficiaries.

     

    Trabahope

    In partnership with the Philippine Business for Education and USAID, we launched TrabaHOPE for out-of-school youth. Trainee-beneficiaries ages 18 to 30 are enrolled in tech-voc and employability training, and are eventually transitioned to on-the-job training with partner companies.

    To date, there are 913 applicants who have already been onboarded, 156 of them already completed technical training, 87 completed their on-the-job training, and 23 trainees were already hired. We provide the trainees with housing and daily allowances and have already mobilized P1.08 million in resources. Next slide, please.

     

    Bayanihan e-Konsulta

    During the surge in cases last April 2021, we launched our free telemedicine consultation service, Bayanihan E-Konsulta. Powered by free data on Facebook, it is meant to serve patients who might not need hospitalization but need medical attention. 

    Services in the platform include free teleconsultation, facilitation of RT-PCR and lab tests, provision of COVID Care Kits, daily monitoring of COVID positive patients, referral to One Hospital Command Center for emergency cases, referral to LGUs for patients outside the NCR Plus Bubble, and mental health consultations. 

    To date, we have a total of 1,277 volunteer doctor sign-ups, and 4,135 non-medical volunteer sign-ups. We have also provided 7,622 COVID-19 care kits to COVID-19 patients in the Metro Manila bubble. A total of 32,569 requests on our Bayanihan E-Konsulta platform were processed.

    Replications of Bayanihan E-Konsulta have also been launched in provinces like Camarines Sur and Palawan. This was done in partnership with the respective local government units and the generosity of our Angat Buhay partners. Next slide, please.

     

    Swab Cab and Vaccine Express
    To support and boost the government’s testing and vaccination efforts, the OVP launched Swab Cab and Vaccine Express.

    Swab Cab aims to provide testing support for barangays and communities with high COVID-19 transmission and infection rates in a bid to mitigate the further spread of the virus. For this initiative, the OVP procured a total of 22,000 antigen test kits worth P11 million. This initiative has been brought to six LGUs as of today: Malabon; Quezon City; Imus in Cavite; Marikina City; Tuguegarao City in Cagayan; and Naga City in Camarines Sur.

    Vaccine Express

    To expedite the rollout of vaccinations and support LGUs in inoculating as many of its residents as soon as possible, the OVP, together with partners and volunteers, set up vaccination sites for targeted priority categories. Doctors, nurses, and medical students volunteered to help with the vaccination.

    As of date, we have been able to provide 12,821 total number of single doses, 15,394 total number of first doses, and 7,308 total number of second doses.

    Vaccine Express has been rolled out in Manila City, Quezon City, Pasig City; Naga City and Iriga City in Camarines Sur; San Pedro City in Laguna; and San Fernando City in Pampanga. Next slide, please.

    In keeping with providing services in response to the evolving demands, we continue to strengthen and professionalize the organization.

     

    ISO Recertification 

    In 2020, the OVP received its recertification from ISO after a successful audit of its quality management system. This would be valid for another three years.

     

    COA’s Unqualified Opinion 

    Likewise, for the third consecutive year, the OVP received the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit: an “unqualified opinion” rating on its financial report for the fiscal year 2020. Next slide, please.

    We are confident that with the proposed budget for OVP next year, we can continue working with our partners to contribute to our shared goals of defeating the virus and improving the lives of our people.

    For 2022, the proposed budget is P714.56 million. Of the proposed budget for next year, the DBM recommended the amount of P713.41 million, which is 21% lower than the 2021 appropriation.

    For Personnel Services, including RLIP, the amount of P150.95 million was recommended by the DBM as the total requirement for the salary, compensation and benefits of OVP employees.

    Under MOOE, Financial Assistance/Subsidies amounting to P357.6 Million is equivalent to 64% of our operating expenses (MOOE) for fiscal year 2022, or 50% of the total recommended budget.

    The recommended budget for Capital Outlay for 2022 is limited to P3.66 million, for the acquisition of IT equipment as endorsed by ISSP. Next slide, I think this is the last one already.

    We are a small office, but this has also taught us to act swiftly, to be agile, and have a sense of what people need. All of this was possible, because we believe in collaboration, and maximizing the public funds entrusted to us through partnerships.

    The Office of the Vice President will continue to contribute what it can, as we strive towards our shared goal of building a better future for our people. Maraming salamat po!

     

    - 30 -

    Posted in Transcripts on Sep 21, 2021