Bicam restores DepEd’s original P150 million confidential, intel funds
MANILA, Philippines — The P150 million confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) of the Department of Education (DepEd) have been restored by the bicameral conference committee, Senator Sonny Angara and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co confirmed on Monday.
In an ambush interview on the sidelines of the committee’s hearing, Angara said that all the other CIF cuts made by the Senate have been kept, except for the DepEd’s.
“‘Yong sa DepEd, naibalik po ‘yon, pero ‘yong sa ibang agencies na tinapyas po ng Senado, ‘di na po naibalik. Yes, it’s back to P150 (million),” Angara said.
(The intelligence funds of the DepEd were restored, but those for the other agencies which the Senate slashed were not brought back. But for DepEd, yes it’s back to P150 million.)
“I don’t have the figure also, basta ‘yong P150 (million) ng DepEd nabalik ‘yon. Basta ‘yong natanggal initially, ‘di na naibalik ‘yon […] May (deductions sa) DOJ, I don’t remember the exact agencies basta may mga tinapyas kami sa Senate, ‘yon hindi na ginalaw, ‘yong DepEd lang ang binalik,” he added.
(I don’t have the figure also for the other agencies, as far as I know the P150 million CIF was restored. All those initially removed was not given back. There were deductions on the same fund for the DOJ, I don’t remember the exact agencies but what we removed in the Senate was not restored except for DepEd’s.)
Co meanwhile said that it is important that the DepEd’s CIF is maintained as there are young people being recruited into scrupulous groups.
“Well, that’s the decision of the House na ituloy because mahirap na ‘yong mga kabataan natin ma-recruit papunta sa maling landas, so we want DepEd to spearhead the — kasi ang ating mga kabataan ‘di ba, napupunta rin sa maling landas — so we want them to secure the future of our children,” he added.
(Well, that’s the decision of the House to continue giving the intel funds because it is difficult for the country to have our children be recruited towards wrong ideals, so we want DepEd to spearhead the — since our children are being dragged to the wrong path — we want them to secure the future of our children.)
There was strong opposition in the House and the Senate about providing a P150 million CIF to DepEd, as minority lawmakers believe that supervision and intelligence gathering is not part of the DepEd mandate.
In the House, the CIF of DepEd was not altered but the Senate slashed it down to P30 million.
The committee report on the proposed P5.268 trillion national budget, which contains the reconciled versions from the House of Representatives and the Senate, was approved earlier.
After this, the consolidated version would be sent to the plenary of both chambers for approval.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.