House clarifies travel expenses for this year only over P39-M

House clarifies travel expenses for this year only over P39-M

THE House of Representatives responded to the issue of the alleged P1.8 billion travel expenses of the Office of the Speaker. SMNI also provides clarification on the said issue.

House Secretary General Reginald Velasco himself clarified that the travel expenses of the Office of the Speaker are not P1.8 Billion.

According to Velasco, the Speaker Martin Romualdez‘s office spent only over P4 million from January to October this year.

“For the Office of the Speaker, these are the staff (and) members of the Speaker who accompany him on all of his foreign trips. The total expenses of the office of the Speaker from January to October this year 2023 is P4,347,712.58,” according to Reginald Velasco, House Secretary General.

Meanwhile, over P35 million was spent on all the official trips of the congressmen.

In total, here are the expenses of the House for foreign trips this 2023.

“The total for all, Office of the Speaker and the House Secretariat and the members of Congress who go on an official trip (is) P39, 605, 123.61,” Velasco added.

SMNI clarifies alleged P1.8-B HREP’s travel funds

It can be recalled that the program Laban Kasama ang Bayan  on SMNI asked if it’s true that the travel expenses of the House reached P1.8 Billion.

SMNI clarified that it was not an accusation but merely a question asked by one of the hosts, Jeffrey ‘Ka Eric’ Celiz, about the validity of the issue.

“There were no allegations about P1.8 Billion Mr. Chair, it was just a question given not on behalf of SMNI but given it is a statement of an anchor of SMNI. And there is a disclaimer in every program of SMNI. Any statement made by the anchor and guest not the official stand of SMNI. And second Mr. Chair, there was no deliberate false information,” according to Atty. Mark Tolentino, SMNI Legal Counsel.

Due to the clarification in the hearing, Ka Eric admitted that the data from his source did not match the actual expenses of the House.

“We are now very enlightened, thank you so much, your honors. It was mentioned here that the expenses of Speaker Martin Romualdez and the entire House of Representatives are actually less than P5 million, totaling only P35 million,” Jeffrey ‘Ka Eric’ Celiz, Program Host, Laban Kasama Ang Bayan stated.


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