Hontiveros: 'No extraordinarily compelling reasons' for DepEd's P150M confidential fund | Inquirer News

Hontiveros: ‘No extraordinarily compelling reasons’ for DepEd’s P150M confidential fund

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 05:33 PM November 14, 2022
Senator Risa Hontiveros insists there are “no extraordinarily compelling reasons” to provide DepEd confidential funds.

FILE PHOTO: Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros at the Senate on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. (Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros insisted on Monday that there are “no extraordinarily compelling reasons” to provide the Department of Education (DepEd) with a confidential fund.

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While discussing DepEd’s 2023 budget on the Senate floor, the senator inquired if the P150 million confidential fund of the agency has been retained or realigned for other better programs of government.

Hontiveros, along with Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, has been pushing for the realignment of DepEd’s confidential fund.

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READ: Senate minority bloc pushes for realignment of DepEd’s P150-million intel fund

Senator Pia Cayetano, who was defending DepEd’s budget, reminded her colleague about the statement of Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte that she would leave it to Congress to decide on the matter.

“When we resumed session last week, I brought this to the attention of the body in caucus for the body to determine what it would like to do with the confidential funds and there were a number of proposals on the table so that remains for us as a body to determine, Your Honor,” Cayetano said.

Hontiveros, however, noted that DepEd has been firm with its belief that its allocation of a confidential fund is legal and that they need it to protect the learners.

“But gaya ng napag-usapan na natin, as expressed by the Secretary VP, they leave it to the wisdom of the Congress to decide on the matter,” she said.

“So for the record,  I hope that our colleagues in the Senate will share the view that there  are no extraordinarily compelling reasons to provide a confidential fund to the education agency.”

“After all, Mr.  President, we should enable and empower school authorities to collaborate with national and local agencies to address and respond to their peace and order law enforcement and security needs,” she added.

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Justifying the need for a confidential fund, Duterte earlier told senators about the problems the education sector is facing such as drug involvement of personnel and students, abuses, violent extremism and terrorism, insurgency, and scam.

READ: Use of DepEd confidential fund will be within gov’t rules, VP Duterte assures 

Hontiveros later said that at a proper time, she would make the proper proposal regarding DepEd’s confidential fund.

KGA/abc
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TAGS: 2023 national budget, confidential fund, DepEd, Risa Hontiveros
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