OVP, DepEd intel funds defended

Under the proposed P5.26-trillion budget for fiscal year 2023, the OP will receive P4.5 billion in CIFs while the OVP will receive P500 million

Senator Sonny Angara on Sunday said the deletion of confidential and intelligence funds or CIFs amounting to at least P9.3 billion, including those for the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education, goes against the will of the electorate.

Angara said the Senate Finance Committee he chairs would look into proposals to delete or transfer some of the CIFs under the proposed 2021 national budget, but that he’s not in favor of the same.

“We will study it, but for me, it would not look good because the public elected them. The President allowed it in his maiden budget,” Angara said “It was entrusted to VP Sara Duterte and yet we will deny her funds. If I will be asked, let us not remove it from her office because it is what the public wants, it is what the President wants because she is part of his administration,” he added.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III earlier called for the removal of CIFs of the OVP and DepEd under Duterte.

Under the proposed P5.26-trillion budget for fiscal year 2023, the OP will receive P4.5 billion in CIFs while the OVP will receive P500 million.

Pimentel and Senator Risa Hontiveros have also questioned the allocation of P150 million in CIFs to the Duterte-led DepEd.

Meanwhile, Angara assured those who rely on the “Libreng Sakay” program of the Department of Transportation that it will continue to be implemented.

“I know that will continue. ‘Libreng Sakay’ was included in the budget. The head for that is Senator Grace Poe,” he said.

“She’s really focused on the financial aid to the jeepney drivers, the operators of PUVs, and tricycle drivers. All of them will receive help — the fuel vouchers, the ‘Libreng Sakay.” These are some programs that really help ordinary citizens,” he added.

The DoTr previously requested P12 billion for the continuous implementation of the program next year.


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