MANILA — The House of Representatives on Wednesday finally terminated the plenary deliberation of the PHP1.474-billion budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) for 2019.

The Lower House approved the budget of the PCOO-proper in mere minutes. The budgets of its attached agencies were approved on Tuesday.

This developed after PCOO Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson announced her resignation during an earlier Senate committee hearing.

The House deferred twice the consideration of the PCOO budget due to her absence in the deliberations.

Uson earlier said Congress was purposely delaying deliberations on the PCOO budget because of her.

She described her decision to leave her post as a “sacrifice” to allow the passage of the PCOO budget.

In sponsoring the budget, Parañaque City Rep. Eric Olivarez said the PCOO is proposing a PHP1.474-billion budget for next year to deliver its commitment as the premier arm of the executive branch in engaging and involving the citizenry and the mass media to enrich the quality of public discourse on all matters of governance and build a national consensus.

“We have the assurances of Secretary Andanar that the resources shall be judiciously and creatively used to communicate the messages of the President and his government to the people,” Olivarez said.

The PHP1.474-billion budget for next year reflects a 2.75 percent increase of PHP39.434 million, compared to this year’s budget of PHP1.435 billion.

The PCOO budget shall be distributed as follows: PCOO proper — PHP360.988 million; Bureau of Broadcast Service — PHP396.967 million; Bureau of Communications Service — PHP37.186 million; National Printing Office — PHP11.499 million; News and Information Bureau — PHP124.677 million; Philippine Information Agency — PHP337.486 million; and Radio TV Malacañang — PHP205.180 million. (FMC/PNA)

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