Congress may restore part of DICT's confidential fund - Angara | Inquirer News

Congress may restore part of DICT’s confidential fund – Angara

/ 04:35 PM November 30, 2023



MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara on Thursday said Bicameral Conference Committee contingents from both chambers of the Congress are studying the possible restoration of a portion of the Department of Information and Communications and Technology’s (DICT) confidential funds. 

Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, made the disclosure this to reporters in an ambush interview on the first day of the Bicameral Conference Committee meeting at the Manila Golf Club. 


“Ang napaguusapan lang, I think, is DICT. Kasi DICT ay parang to increase cybersecurity dahil alam natin na minsan ang giyera ay hindi na sa battlefield — hindi na barilan, kundi someone can disable your cybernetworks kapag nawala ang information, ‘di ba? Tayo as consumers, nagta-transact tayo online. Kapag nawala ‘yun, pilay tayo [and] our economy will come to a halt,” Angara explained to reporters. 


(The only thing discussed was about DICT. Because DICT’s [confidential funds]  will supposedly be used to boost cybersecurity because we know that sometimes the war is no longer on the battlefield — it’s not about shooting, but someone can disable your cybernetworks when information is lost, right? As consumers, we transact online. When we lose that, we will be crippled [and] our economy will grind to a halt.)

“So I think the DICT is trying to appeal that this be restored, at least a portion of their confidential fund. That’s what House appropriations panel chair Elizaldy Co and I will talk about,” he added.

Asked what the ballpark figure of this possible restored secret funds for DICT, Angara said they have yet to decide on it. According to the senator, they are still consulting with Senator Grace Poe who is the vice chairperson in charge of the DICT.

“We’re trying to get her feedback if she’s amenable to that. We respect the opinion of our vice chairs, so we consult with them, and we’ll update you,” he said. 

Following criticisms, senators unanimously agreed earlier to scratch the confidential allocation of government agencies that are civilian in nature, including the DICT, the Office of the Vice President, and the Department of Education. 

Instead of giving DICT a secret fund, the upper chamber has decided to allocate the agency a line budget item amounting to P280 million for next year. 


Removed secret funds less likely to be restored in bicam level — Angara

No more secret funds as DICT gets P280M ‘line budget’ instead — Poe

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TAGS: confidential fund, Cpngress, DICT, Sonny Angara

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