Senate starts reviewing budget proposals, including intel funds
MANILA, Philippines – The proposed budgets of all government agencies — including confidential and intelligence funds — are now under review, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The Senate Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds, Programs and Activities should be finished by the review by mid-November, Zubiri said.
Zubiri told reporters that the committee was aiming to finish its review before the Senate discusses the 2024 budget in the plenary.
“It’s all being reviewed. All of their [confidential] and intelligence funds, not only by the president and the Office of the Vice President, but everyone else is being reviewed,” he said.
According to Zubiri, the panel will come up with a report after reviewing all the proposals. Only then will they recommend whether an agency’s allocation should be removed, reduced, or increased.
Zubiri said all deliberations would be held in an executive session and only representatives from selected agencies would be summoned if their budget proposal would be found to be “vague.”
The committee is composed of five members — Zubiri as its chair, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III, and Sens. Sonny Angara and Ronald dela Rosa.
Sens. Risa Hontiveros and Raffy Tulfo also attended the first executive meeting held Wednesday afternoon after the members of the panel gave an open invitation to other senators in a plenary session on Tuesday.