MALACAÑANG has slashed Vice President Jejomar Binay’s proposed budget for next year, and the second highest ranking official of the country is not happy about it, a Binay staffer said Thursday.
Binay learned that his office budget for 2011 was cut to P177 million from P195 million during the Senate finance committee hearing Thursday.
But committee chairman Franklin Drilon was quick to defend Malacañang, saying the cut was “not politically motivated.”
Malacañang made the cut even as President Aquino earmarked P15 billion in the same budget proposal as a counterpart fund to the government’s public-private partnership projects next year, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said..
The P15 billion would come from the budgets of the Public Works, Transport and Agriculture Departments, Mr. Aquino said.
“[The fund will] provide for the catalytic government support for these departments’ projects, such as road right of way and land or other infrastructure facilities, among others, to encourage private investors to undertake Build-Transfer-Operate arrangements with these agencies.”
Domingo said the government would go ahead with its PPP Summit in November, when it was expected to roll out 10 priority PPP projects for potential investors. Those projects included a new airport in Bohol that would cost P7 billion, he said.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the conference would be held on Nov. 18 and 19, and it was expected to be attended by investors from the United States, Europe, Japan, Korea, China and the Middle East.
Socio-economic planning chief Cayetano Paderanga said the other priority projects were the extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 to Bacoor in Cavite, the extension of the LRT Line 2 to the Masinag Junction in Antipolo, the privatization of the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, a new airport in Puerto Princesa, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, and a new airport in Daraga, Albay.