Lawmakers tell why they back realignment of confidential funds | Inquirer News

Lawmakers tell why they back realignment of confidential funds

/ 04:49 PM October 19, 2023

confidential funds

Confidential funds

MANILA, Philippines — Some lawmakers expressed support for the decision of the House of Representatives to realign confidential funds (CF) of civilian agencies.

They say altering a proposed budget is part of Congress’ powers.


Davao del Sur Representative John Tracy Cagas on Thursday said the chamber has the prerogative to rearrange items in the National Expenditures Program (NEP).


NEP becomes the General Appropriation Bill (GAB) once amended.

“There’s no question about it. The Congress, particularly the House, where the national budget bill originates, possesses that power. It is granted by the Constitution,” he said in a statement.

“The limitation to that power is that the Congress, to use the language of the Constitution, ‘may not increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the government as specified in the budget,’” he added.

Cagas refers to constitutional provisions requiring Congress to maintain the cap set by the President, which in the case of the proposed 2024 national budget, was P5.7 trillion.

How the budget is distributed among government agencies is left to Congress.

Misamis Oriental Representative Christian Unabia said the House had done nothing wrong when it made around P194 billion worth of institutional amendments to the budget.


“It is the constitutional mandate of Congress to exercise the power of the purse. And boosting the budget of national security agencies is a responsible way of spending public funds,” he said

“This is especially true in light of the country’s predicament in the WPS. We need to boost our capabilities in protecting our exclusive economic zone,” he noted.

“Our fishermen are being kept from their livelihood and turned away in our own fishing grounds,” he noted.

House removed the proposed CF of several government agencies, including the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd), which amounted to P500 million and P150 million.

OVP and DepEd are headed by Duterte’s daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte.


House gives zero confidential funds to OVP, DepEd, DICT, DFA, DA 

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TAGS: confidential funds, House, realignment, Sara Duterte

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