THE House Committee on Appropriations immediately terminated the deliberation on the proposed budget of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.House Minority Floor Leader and 4Ps Party-list Representative Marcelino Libanan moved to terminate the hearing and just asked the questions to the agency’s officials during the plenary session.Other lawmakers present during the hearing including Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe seconded Libanan’s motion, which was later approved by committee chairman Ako Bicol Party-list Representative Elizaldy Co.Libanan said this is also to show respect to Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio who was personally present during the hearing.Also present during the hearing were House Speaker and Leyte First District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Representative Ferdinand Alexander Marcos.Representatives from the Makabayan bloc expressed their intention to ask questions during the hearing.Duterte expressed gratitude to the lawmakers for bestowing her courtesy.“Thank you for sharing this day with the Office of the Vice President, and thank you for your continued support of the budget and all the programs, activities and projects of the Office of the Vice President,” she said.“We continue to support as well the legislative districts of our honorable members of the House of Representatives with all the meager projects of the [OVP]. And if there is anything that we can do to help you as an Office, in your respective mandates in your respective legislative districts and party-lists, please do let us know. We are open to collaborations in helping our fellow Filipinos,” she added.Under the 2023 National Expenditure Program, a P2.922-billion budget was allocated for the OVP, an over 220-percent increase from its P713 million budget for 2022.The Department of Budget and Management said the increase is primarily attributed to the augmentation of travel expenses, supplies and materials expenses, professional services, confidential expenses, financial assistance/subsidy and representation expenses.The OVP earlier said the increase is also affected by the expansion of their programs aimed at the delivery of socioeconomic services, which include medical and burial assistance, free rides, Kalusugan Food Trucks, Disaster Operations Relief Packs, and OVP Food boxes. (SunStar Philippines)