Opposition questions B3-billion PR budget

Overlapping initiatives are not regarded as efficient use of citizens ‘ funds.

Opposition questions B3-billion PR budget
During the House of Representatives resources conversation on Friday, Move Forward MP Pukkamon Nunarnan makes a point about the president’s PR budget. ( Photo: @SaPukkamon X account )

The opposition’s Move Forward Party has criticised the government’s almost 3 billion baht public relations budgets, claiming that there are numerous overlap PR projects and many of them do not appear to be helping the public.

Pukkamon Nunarnan, a party checklist- MP, pointed out a hole in the program to manage 2.94 billion ringgit of taxpayers ‘ money for advertising and public relations.

A thorough analysis revealed that there were overlapping tasks worth more than 600 million baht, most notably anti-drug campaigns. The Prime Minister’s Office, the Internal Security Operations Command ( Isoc ), and the Defence and Interior ministries all have related campaigns planned, she said.

Questions were raised about whether these efforts actually helped the general public, she said.

When also, the Anti- Fake News Centre, which is supposed to be balanced and separate, appears to defend specific parties, while even concealing information that could benefit the public. This is concerning because, according to Ms. Pukkamon, the center could be used as a social resource.

She noted that 36 million baht had been set aside for initiatives to improve Thailand’s reputation and for “proactive” public relations on the global stage despite the government’s lack of a funds specifically designated for promoting a” sweet power” TV program.

The National Broadcasting Services of Thailand ( NBT ) now has 729 social media channels, including 313 TikTok accounts and 129 YouTube channels. Ms. Pukkamon questioned the need of all of these.

She also mentioned a personal firm that had shut down, and some of the programs had been transferred to the state-run NBT.

Ms. Pukkamon claimed the news programs in question had small rankings and might not be in the public’s attention despite the Public Relations Department’s assurance that this was in accordance with its rules.

She suggested that the marketing and PR budget’s flaws been closed to ensure transparency, underscoring that the government must refrain from using citizens ‘ funds for self-promotion. She likewise urged the press to refrain from taking sides in political matters.

She further suggested that the Government Procurement and Inventory Management Act been updated to clarify Marketing costs and procurement practices in the common interest.