VP Leni’s office gets support from Senate to raise budget to P1 billion in 2022
Senators crossed party lines in pushing for the increase of the Office of the Vice President’s budget to at least P1 billion, citing valuable efforts of the office of Vice President Leni Robredo to uplift the lives of Filipinos, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 joined the budget deliberations via videoconference to present before the Senate Committee on Finance the programs her office initiated.
For 2022, the OVP proposed a P714.56 million budget. But the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) recommended the amount of P713.41 million—21% lower than the appropriation for the OVP in 2021.
After her presentation, the members of the committee were all praises for VP Leni’s programs, swiftly approving the OVP’s proposed budget.
Senate finance committee chairman Sonny Angara even pledged to recommend an increased budget of the OVP to the plenary, emphasizing that the committee’s support for VP Leni has always been bipartisan.
“We have seen you made wise use of your budget and you’ve had a kind of multiplier effect by partnering with so many organizations,” Angara said.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, along with members of the minority—Senators Franklin Drilon and Francis Pangilinan—also backed Angara’s call.
“Kung P1 billion po ang kailangan ni Ma’am Leni, [ibigay] po natin sa kaniya. Nakita naman po natin na napakasipag ng ating Vice President. All she does is go out and continuously help our kababayans anywhere in the country and I admire her for that. Even during the pandemic, she’s still out there helping our kababayans,” Zubiri said.
VP Leni then thanked the senators for their continuous support for her office.
“The additional support coming from the Senate has always been very valuable for us, especially as we are doing the COVID-19 response initiatives. It has allowed us to pursue many initiatives and it has proven to be very helpful to those going through the difficulties of the pandemic,” said VP Robredo.
OVP’s Angat Buhay, COVID-19 response initiatives
Since VP Leni assumed office in 2016, the OVP has been launching one initiative after another under its anti-poverty flagship program Angat Buhay.
The Angat Buhay program, with the help of its private partners, mobilized more than P456 million of resources, helping 563,891 families and individuals in 223 cities and municipalities nationwide, with the support of 346 partner organizations.
Along with this, the OVP continues to offer medical assistance to vulnerable and indigent clients. From August 2016 to September 2021, the program has utilized P1.23 billion, serving 92,373 beneficiaries.
The OVP also initiated several projects to respond to the needs of Filipinos amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes supporting frontliners, hospitals, and other facilities through PPE, medical supplies, care packages, free transportation and dormitories, temporary shelters, and test kits.
To address the growing need for medical attention during this time, the office has its teleconsultation platform, Bayanihan E-Konsulta, which caters to both COVID and non-COVID cases. Meanwhile, it supports local government units in testing and vaccination efforts through Swab Cab and Vaccine Express, respectively.
Over the past year and a half, the OVP has also been providing, among others:
* relief packs and hot meals to communities in need;
* assistance in distance learning through its Bayanihan E-skwela initiatives; and
* livelihood and training opportunities through its Community Marts, its Bayanihanapbuhay platforms, and the expansion of its Sustainable Livelihood and Training program.
"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," said VP Leni. "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."
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