Marcos travel expense justified as long as PH reaps its benefits: Budget secretary
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s foreign trip expenditures are justified as long as they help put the Philippines back on the world map as an investment hub and more investments come in, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said on Thursday.
In the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted to Congress, Marcos is asking lawmakers to allocate P1.408 billion for his local, foreign missions and state visits for next year, which is 58 percent higher than the Office of the President’s P893.87-million request for this year.
“When I was asked previously po doon sa SONA kung ano po sa tingin ko ang nagawa ng… this administration in such a short time ? I think to bring us back to the map as an investment hub and opportunity po for other countries,” Pangandaman said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
“Kami po, hindi lang po ang Presidente, even the economic managers, if you will notice po, we’ve been going out of the country to present the Philippines as an investment hub po. So, I think iyong expenses ng travel, as long as it will be beneficial and mas may advantage po para sa bansa natin, I think okay lang po iyon. It’s justified,” she said.
The budget chief categorized the President’s travels abroad as state visits and investment roadshow attendance. During state visits, the President is invited by his counterpart to visit his or her country.
The recent visit of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to the Philippines is one of the results of Marcos’ engagements abroad.
The EU official said that the reason she visited the country was because she met the President in Brussels, Belgium in December 2022.
In the recent three-day state visit of Marcos to Malaysia, the government reaped a total of $285 million investment commitments after Malaysian business leaders pledged to expand their investments and operations in the Philippines. Presidential News Desk