- Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s travel budget for next year soars by P1.8 billion
- The increase is almost seven times the P312.9 million allocated in 2015 intended for the President’s travels
- Among Duterte’s scheduled foreign trips include his travel to Laos
Under the proposed P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017, an amount of almost P2 billion was added to President Rodrigo Duterte’s travel funds.
The increase is almost seven times the P312.9 million allocated in 2015 which was intended for the Chief Executive’s travels, an article published by GMA News Online on August 25 stated.
Scheduled foreign trips for Pres. Duterte include his travel to Laos, where the Philippines is set to receive the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Earlier, Duterte disclosed that he never used public funds whenever he is on personal appointments or when he goes home to Davao City.
“Whenever I go home, I don’t spend a single centavo,” the President was quoted saying.
In his early days in office, the President stressed that government officials, especially Cabinet members, should not be flying business class when traveling.
In fact, the country’s highest official earlier set an example by traveling back to his home in Davao City via commercial flight.
In a related development, the President is also expected to mount a much greater intelligence work as his intelligence fund allocation has been increased to P1.25 billion next year from P250 million this year.
Duterte’s representation allowance was also increased to P7.5 billion in 2017 from P139 million this year.
In defense of the additional budget for 2017, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said P15 billion of the P20 billion was allocated for the Philippines’ hosting of the 50th Asean Summit next year.
“We took P15 billion for the Asean’s golden anniversary. P15 billion is not unreasonable considering [next year will be the Asean’s] 50th anniversary,” Diokno explained.