Lawmaker wants policy on confidential, intelligence funds
MANILA, Philippines — Amid discussions regarding confidential and intelligence funds (CIF), Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman believes it is high time that Congress comes up with a policy regarding the budgeting of such allocations.
At the plenary debates on the proposed 2024 national budget’s general provisions on Monday, Lagman asked the budget sponsor and Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo whether there is already an existing policy on determining how an agency is entitled to receiving CIF.
After Quimbo answered in the negative, Lagman asked again if there was now a need to craft a policy on the matter.
Quimbo — senior vice chairperson of the House committee on appropriations — agreed with Lagman.
“If there is no policy, is there a need to formulate that policy considering the level of confidential and intelligence funds being requested by government agencies to the tune of about P10.2 billion for 2024?” Lagman asked.
“At this point in time, perhaps that can be considered; I have been asked several times as to what are the reasons why confidential and intelligence funds are needed, why some agencies’ CIF suddenly increased, and how this is being audited — do they need to submit receipts, who should look at reports, there are many questions so maybe it’s high time for Congress to review rules on CIF,” Quimbo replied.
Lagman then asked if Quimbo was willing to spearhead the creation of a policy that could be included in the proposed budget or the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) provisions, to which the latter declined as it might be beyond her competency.
The Albay lawmaker noted that he would submit suggestions on how the committee might create a policy on the Confidential and Intelligence Funds.
“I will initiate some changes on the appropriation of the CIF and entitlement of some agencies, and I hope this initiative will be considered by the leadership of the committee on appropriations,” Lagman said.
Lagman’s questioning also touched on Vice President Sara Duterte’s assurance to Congress that determining whether or not the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) need CIFs rests on Congress’ decision.
Discussions about the CIF lodged with different agencies, particularly OVP, have been heated since the budget deliberations began last August.