Senate panel swiftly approves COA’s P13.360B budget for 2024
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on finance has swiftly terminated its deliberation on the proposed 2024 budget of the Commission on Audit (COA) amounting to P13.360 billion.
During Wednesday’s hearing, presided over by panel chair Senator Sonny Angara, no questions were asked regarding the spending plan of COA for next year.
Angara said the 2024 budget proposal of COA is now deemed approved at the committee level and endorsed to the Senate plenary.
“We favorably endorse your budget to the plenary without prejudice to any possible augmentation,” he said during the hearing.
In a later ambush interview, Angara told reporters that one of the factors behind the quick approval is the lack of lawmakers present who will pose queries on COA’s 2024 budget.
“Least so, walang controversial [ay] walang magtatanong. Wala akong kasamang [magtatanong],” he noted, adding that senators who may raise inquiries on COA’s funding may do so during plenary deliberations.
(Least so, there is nothing controversial and no one will ask questions. I don’t have a companion who will ask questions.)
Tucked in COA’s P13.360 billion proposed budget for next year is a confidential fund amounting to P10 million. Asked if the upper chamber is leaning towards the approval of this provision, Angara said they will still deliberate on the matter.
“I don’t know. We will discuss the issue [dahil] naging mainit ‘yan. Most likely may caucus kami dyan at pag-uusapan namin kung anong gagawin,” he explained.
(I don’t know. We will discuss the issue because it has become such an important topic. Most likely, we will have a caucus and we will discuss what actions we will undertake.)