MANILA – The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) needs adequate funding in order to ensure the timely delivery of vital information, fulfill its mandate to craft and implement the information systems of the Office of the President, and maintain rapport with the media and other stakeholders.
In her presentation during the House appropriations committee hearing on the proposed 2023 budget of the agency on Friday, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles likewise appealed that Congress funds attached agencies Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) and APO Production Unit and raise the allocation for People’s Television Network (PTV).
Marikina City Representative Stella Luz Quimbo vowed to secure adequate funding for the OPS.
Quimbo said the OPS disseminates the important activities undertaken by the executive that affect the daily lives of the people, especially in response to natural calamities.
“By doing so, OPS helps assure the people that the government is addressing their most pressing needs, na merong gobyernong kumakalinga sa kanila lalo na sa panahon ng taghirap (that there is a government that looks after them especially in times of need),” said Quimbo, the committee senior vice chair and sponsor of the agency's budget.
"Thus, it is imperative for Congress to review the agency's programs and activities and work towards securing an adequate amount of resources so that they may effectively disseminate critical information to all 100 million Filipinos all over the country," she added.
Cruz-Angeles said that in the 2023 National Expenditure Program, the total budget of the OPS proper is PHP473.1 million.
Of the total, PHP192.5 million would go to personnel services, PHP275.5 million would be for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), and PHP5 million for capital outlay.
Meanwhile, PHP748.3 million were allocated for its other attached agencies and corporations.
All attached agencies and corporations have zero budget for their capital outlay, like IBC and APO, which is authorized to solicit and accept printing jobs with other agencies or corporations owned or controlled by the government.
She appealed to the committee members to provide additional funding for IBC so as not to lead to the network's closure by January.
"Meron kaming konting apela. Kung hindi po malagyan ang IBC, mawawalan po ng trabaho 'yung ating workers at by January, close operation na po tayo (We have a small appeal. If we won't fund the IBC, the workers would lose their jobs and it will cease operations by January)," she said.
She also pointed out that there was no allocation for personnel services and salaries of the employees of broadcast network PTV.
"Humihingi kami ng MOOE na PHP240 million para maangat nang konti 'yung antas ng suweldo ng aming mga worker sa PTV ngunit ang nabigay po sa atin ay (We were requesting an MOOE of PHP240 million so that we could raise the salaries of PTV workers but we were only given) PHP125 million," Cruz-Angeles said. (PNA)