Being livid about how the government uses our taxes is very much understandable. But our public servants are always trying to prove that every peso that gets nicked out of our salaries is being utilized for the benefit of Filipinos. For example, the Department of Transportation has revealed its plans on how to use its 2022 budget.
For starters, the department has a grand total of P120,006,196,000 to play with as approved by the Senate. That’s huge, but it was quite proud of the fact that this number is actually over P33 billion lower than the proposed budget under the 2022 National Expenditure Program.
Said budget will go to the several agencies and corporations under the DOTr, and it has even provided a detailed breakdown of the allocations:
- Office of the Secretary – P92.7 billion
- Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) – P216.2 million
- Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) – P909.2 million
- Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) – P33.1 million
- Office for Transportation Security (OTS) – P312.8 million
- Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) – P21.2 billion
- Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) – P34 million
- Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) – P2.4 billion
- Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) – P1 billion
- Philippine National Railways (PNR) – P1.2 billion
Now, this is all well and good. The department clearly has its sights on infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, airports and railways. But there is one thing missing from this list: the Land Transportation Office.
You may remember from a previous article that the LTO pinned its plate-making woes down to the lack of funds. Since it wasn’t granted the budget it requested, it reportedly didn’t have enough money to buy raw materials which will be used for the license plates. This is the reason why the absence of the agency’s name from the list is puzzling.
We gave the benefit of the doubt that whoever wrote the press release might have forgotten to include the LTO. So, we did a little arithmetic by adding up the individual allocations and comparing it to the DOTr’s approved budget amount. Here’s what we came up with:
So, yeah. The numbers more or less match up. We asked DOTr communications head Goddes Hope Oliveros-Libiran about the LTO’s budget situation for next year, but we haven’t received a reply as of press time. But in any case, Filipino motorists deserve to get their license plates (or any government service) in a timely fashion, so we do hope the DOTr is doing something about it.
UPDATE: Assistant Secretary Oliveros-Libiran has responded and said that the LTO’s budget is incorporated in the Office of the Secretary’s allocation.