The House Committee on Appropriations on Monday terminated the briefing on the Office of the Ombudsman’s (OMB) 2024 budget proposal.
The OMB’s 2024 proposed budget is pegged at P5.05 billion. The OMB’s original 2024 budget proposal was P6.78 billion, “Yung diperensya siguro ng hinihiling namin sa binigay ng DBM ay ilagay na lang sa mga proyekto na kailangan ng taumbayan. Hihigpitan namin ang sinturon namin sa Office of the Ombudsman. Wag lang ibaba sa [budget ng] previous years,” Ombudsman Samuel Martires requested the Committee.
Committee Chairperson Rep. Elizaldy Co (Party-list, AKO BICOL) reiterated the role of OMB in promoting good and ethical governance, “The Ombudsman serves as a bridge between the government and the governed, ensuring that public services are delivered efficiently, fairly, and without prejudice.”
Ombudsman Martires assured the panel that the OMB would prioritize filling up unfilled positions, including the hiring of lawyers in the provinces to make services more accessible to the Filipinos.
Ombudsman Martires also explained that the agency’s confidential funds are spent on case investigations. He said that a certification on the use of confidential funds can be issued to ensure transparency and accountability.
Committee Vice Chairpersons Reps. Bienvenido Abante Jr. (6th District, Manila), Raul Angelo Bongalon (Party-list, AKO BICOL), Teodorico Haresco Jr. (2nd District, Aklan), and Janette Garin (1st District, Iloilo) shall sponsor the OMB’s proposed 2024 budget at the plenary deliberations.