Ex-Speaker Alvarez suggests transfer of OVP’s confidential funds to NSC
MANILA, Philippines — Former House Speaker and now Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaloen Alvarez wants to transfer to other government agencies the confidential funds (CF) proposed for the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
In a statement on Tuesday, Alvarez said while it is important to allocate CF for sensitive matters, these funds must be given to agencies like National Security Council.
“Confidential funds play a crucial role in our government, especially in safeguarding our nation’s security,” he said.
“It is imperative that these funds be channeled to an office uniquely equipped, both in terms of mandate and expertise, for their efficient stewardship,” the lawmaker stressed.
“We must ensure that every peso of taxpayer money is expended wisely and to the ultimate benefit of the Filipino people,” he added.
According to the former House leader, government has scored significant wins against the communist armed insurgency without necessarily involving OVP and Department of Education (DepEd) in the fight.
OVP and DepEd — both under Duterte’s daughter and incumbent Vice President Sara Duterte — have requested a total of P650 million worth of CF.
P500 million of this request is for OVP, while P150 million is for DepEd.
“The government consistently scored and won victories against the communist rebellion and insurgency steadily and convincingly through the years,” he said.
“And these were achieved during the previous administration, practically without any confidential funds allocated to the OVP and DepEd” he recalled.
Alvarez is known ally of former President Rodrigo Duterte.
The proposed budget for 2024 for OVP was expected to be deliberated on Tuesday, but House majority said OVP and DepEd officials could not come due to a conflict in schedule.
House rescheduled the hearings for the two agencies on Wednesday.