House budget head asks for patience as plenty of line items headed for realignment | Inquirer News

House budget head asks for patience as plenty of line items headed for realignment

/ 10:10 PM October 04, 2023

House budget head asks for patience as plenty of line items headed for realignment


MANILA, Philippines — Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co has appealed for more patience from people who are awaiting the House of Representatives final version of the proposed budget, as the small committee is discussing a lot of possible amendments to line items, including secret funds.

Co, head of the House Committee on Appropriations, said in a statement on Wednesday that the small committee tasked to thresh out different amendments has just started its meetings on Tuesday.


House Bill No. 8980, which contains the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) or the proposed budget, was passed on the third reading last September 27, but the House version of the GAB will be produced only after the small committee finalizes amendments.


“On Tuesday (October 3, 2023), the small committee tasked by the House plenary to receive and resolve individual amendments to House Bill No. 8980 or FY 2024 General Appropriations Bill, held its first organizational meeting,” Co said.

“There are numerous budget items lined up for amendments and/or realignment, including the Confidential and Intelligence Funds (CIF) of various civilian agencies […] In the meantime, please bear with us and allow us to perform our assigned tasks as mandated by the House of Representatives,” he added.

Aside from Co, the members of the small committee are:

  • Appropriations senior vice chairperson and Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo
  • Majority Leader and Zamboanga 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe
  • Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan

READ: House OKs proposed P5.768 trillion 2024 budget on final reading 

According to Co, they have been authorized to conduct hearings until October 10 before they finalize the amendments.

“As authorized by the House and consistent with parliamentary precedent, the small committee has until October 10, 2023, to finish its task. Since the proposed amendments are of great interest to the media and the Filipino people, we shall announce the changes at the proper time,” the committee chairperson said.

Last September 27, hours before the budget was passed, Co said that the House leadership is looking at the confidential funds (CF) lodged with the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) as possible sources in augmenting the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) budget.


Co said this after House leaders decided to push for the realignment of CF to agencies involved in intelligence gathering and securing the West Philippine Sea (WPS), such as the PCG, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), National Security Council (NSC), and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The decision came after China’s intrusive activities at the WPS, like the placement of a floating barrier near Scarborough shoal or Bajo de Masinloc.

READ: House eyes cuts in OVP, DepEd confidential funds to boost PCG’s budget 

In a statement later that day, Co explained that the country’s security and ensuring territorial integrity are top priorities of the government — which is why it is important to give priority to the funding of agencies involved in securing the WPS.

“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.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“As discussed, we will realign the confidential funds of various civilian agencies. Now is the time to give our intelligence community the means to perform their duties, especially in these pressing times when we’re facing serious concerns in the West Philippine Sea,” he explained.

READ: ‘Small committee’ to decide cuts in VP’s secret funds 

TAGS: fund realignment, House budget

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.