Ironic? Trixie says National Printing Office doesn't have a printing press

Here's something ironic: The National Printing Office (NPO) isn't capable of carrying out printing services.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles (Screenshot from Zoom)

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles bared during the budget hearing of the Office of the Press Secretary on Friday, Sept. 2 that the NPO didn't have a printing press of its own.

Angeles was asked by ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro on the office's reaction to its lack of capital outlay (CO) and maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) under the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP) of proposed P5.268-trillion national budget.

"Hindi po ba umaangal yung ating OPS? (Aren't there any complaints from our OPS?)" Castro, of the Makabayan bloc, asked.

"Madame, actually ako ang umaangal ngayon (actually it is I who has been complaining)," replied Angeles, tongue-in-cheek.

"May NPO po tayo, na walang printing press. Kaya ina-outsource natin yung pag-imprenta ng mga government forms (We have an NPO that doesn't have a printing press. That's why we outsource the printing of government forms)," she said.

Executive Order (EO) No. 285 dated July 25, 1987 as amended by EO 378 mandates the NPO to provide printing services to government agencies and instrumentalities as mandated by law.

Angeles was quick to point out the dangers of outsourcing the printing tasks of the government.

"And for purposes of security, medyo delikado ‘to lalong lalo na kung balota na yung pini-print natin (this is somewhat risky especially if we're having ballots printed). So hindi po kami natutuwa dun sa zero, na-zero po kami sa CO sa NPO (So we're not elated by the NPO's zero CO)."

She asked the solons for help so they may be able to purchase printing machines.

"Ang maaari po kasi naming--ang pino-propose naming bilang legislation...ay mabigyan ng retaining capacity. Kasi nagre-remit kami P100 million per year. Kung makakaporsyento kami, or meron ia-allow kami ng retention for capital outlay makakabili po kami ng mga printing presses para sa NPO (What we can do--what we're proposing as to give us retaining capacity. Because we remit P100 million per year. If we're allowed to retain a percentage for capital outlay, then we can buy printing presses for NPO)," the Palace official said.

The budget of OPS under the 2023 NEP is P473 million. This is roughly half of its enacted budget for 2022, which is P840 million.