OP’s P4.5-B CIF remains untouched in Senate version, says Pimentel
MANILA, Philippines — The confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) of the Office of the President (OP) amounting to at least P4.5 billion remained untouched in the Senate’s version of the 2024 national allocation, Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III disclosed on Wednesday.
“No one dared to touch the CIF of the President,” Pimentel said in a text message.
The opposition lawmaker was asked what happened to his request to reduce the confidential and remove the intel allocation of OP.
Pimentel, during the plenary deliberations of the OP’s budget in the Senate, said he is not against the allocation of confidential funds for OP. He, however, objected to the intelligence funds of the agency, pointing out that it is civilian in nature.
The Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 8980 which contains the national budget for 2024. Only Pimentel abstained from voting, reiterating his stand that Presidential Certification of Necessity and Urgency may only be used in certain circumstances.
Meanwhile, a bicameral conference committee will begin on Thursday, November 30. Bicam members for the 2024 budget are set to collaborate and come up with a reconciled version of the bill.
Once reconciled, it will be returned to both chambers of Congress for ratification. The ratified version will then be transmitted to the Office of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his signing.