10 agencies’ secret funds chopped to boost WPS guardians’ budget

10 agencies’ secret funds chopped to boost WPS guardians’ budget — Quimbo

/ 06:04 PM September 29, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — There are ten agencies so far that have been affected in the House of Representatives leadership’s quest to cut confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) and allocate them to offices in charge of defending the West Philippine Sea, Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo said on Friday.

In an interview with reporters, Quimbo said that they are still studying where they can remove the CIF or confidential funds (CF) and reallocate them to agencies that badly need such funding.

Quimbo, who is senior vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations and also part of the small committee tasked to resolve individual amendments on the proposed budget, said that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) are included in the agencies whose CF would be cut.


“As of now, of course, it was announced by Chairman Zaldy Co that the confidential funds ng OVP and DepEd would be scrapped but with all honesty, we continue to study, chop other funds of different agencies.  We continue to rationalize the confidential and intelligence funds,” she explained in Filipino.


“As of now, the number of affected agencies is at 10.  So of course, while we reduce the funds of some, we will reallocate these to those that need more.  And it was indicated in a statement from our party leaders, that our priority is to beef up the guardians of the West Philippine Sea,” she added.

When asked to reveal what other agencies have been affected, Quimbo refrained from responding, noting that they would formally start small committee discussions on Monday, October 2.

“Maybe later because that’s an intense discussion, but the key here is really we have to rationalize and again… just a little more patience because the small committee will meet next Monday,” Quimbo said.

Quimbo’s remarks came days after it was initially announced by House leaders that they prefer the transfer of confidential funds to agencies protecting the WPS, primarily the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) — in the wake of recent incidents like China’s placement of a floating barrier near Scarborough shoal.

READ: Solons open to redirect CIFs to defenders of West PH Sea

When asked where the funds would be placed, appropriations chairperson and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Co told reporters that they are looking at OVP and DepEd’s CF as possible funding sources to boost the PCG and other agencies’ CF.


According to Co, House leaders have decided that the country’s defense posture in the WPS is of paramount importance.

“Yes, we agree as discussed yesterday. All confidential funds, best is to give government intelligence communities especially. We need a lot in this pressing time on the issue of the West Philippine Sea,” Co said in a message to INQUIRER.net last Wednesday.

“The country’s safety and security are of paramount importance. To protect our territorial integrity from external threats, Congress is giving top priority to agencies directly in charge of protecting the country’s safety and securing its borders,” he stressed.

READ: Guardians of WPS to get VP Duterte’s secret funds – House

However, earlier, lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc vowed to continue monitoring the proposed budget, as the amendments are not yet final even as House Bill No. 8980 which contains the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) was approved on the third and final reading last Wednesday.

In a press briefing on Friday noon, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel said that plans to reallocate the CF of OVP and DepEd are not yet final unless the small committee releases its report.

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READ: Makabayan continues watch after House OK’d 2024 budget; realignments unclear

TAGS: confidential funds, DepEd, OVP, Quimbo, West Philippine Sea, WPS

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