By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Nov. 24 (PNA) – The Senate on Monday approved in the plenary a total of Php2.126 billion budget for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and its attached agencies including two state-owned televisionnetworks which got Php1.015 billion.
Under its version of the proposed Php2.606 trillion national budget for 2015, the Senate retained the Php992.01 million budget approved by the House of Representatives for the People’s Television Network, Incorporated or PTV 4.
Meanwhile, the Senate finance committee chaired by Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero gave Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC 13) Php23.57 million for the payment of unpaid Pag-IBIG and Social Security System (SSS) remittances of its employees.
The remaining Php1.11 billion will go to the PCCO’s other attached agencies, bureaus and offices such as Bureau of Broadcast Services (BBS), Bureau of Communications Services (BCS), National Printing Office (NPO), News and Information Bureau (NIB), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Presidential Broadcast Staff (RTVM), and PCOO proper.
The BBS has the highest budget amounting to Php269.3 million, including Php12.6 million for the procurement of vehicles for its central and provincial radio stations.
The PIA got the second biggest budget of Php256.87 million followed by the PCOO proper with Php193.8 million, NPO with Php133.83 million, RTVM with Php126.4 million, NIB with P98.56 million, and BCS with P32.4 million.
The Senate has increased by Php2 million the budget of the NPO which has been originally given almost zero allocation for personnel services and maintenance and other operating expenses pursuant to its corresponding special provisions (Section 3) of the 2015 National Expenditure Program (NEP).
Except for BBS, the five other agencies as well as the PCOO proper have no allocation for capital outlays, resulting in the nearly Php160 million decrease or 13.47 percent lower compared to the 2014 PCOO budget.
Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. led the PCOO officials and employees who attended the Senate plenary debate on the Palace communication department’s budget which encountered no opposition. (PNA)