The leaders of the House decided to remove the confidential and intelligence funds of government agencies and departments that have nothing to do with national security.
The funds will be transferred to the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), National Security Council (NSC), Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
“We have decided to reallocate — as part of the budget process — confidential and intelligence funds to other agencies chiefly responsible for intelligence and surveillance such as the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, National Security Council, PCG, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, ” according to the joint statement of the House leaders.
According to them, it is crucial to ensure that the use of limited funds is in line with the government’s priorities and the basic needs of Filipinos.
In a joint statement this Wednesday, the lawmakers said that China’s audacity when placing a floating barrier in Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc) in Zambales to prevent Filipino fishermen from raiding the said area is disturbing and should be taken seriously.
“We extend our collective support to the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) swift and diplomatic actions in removing the barriers at Scarborough Shoal. We commend their dedication to safeguarding our nation’s interests and standing up for the rights of our Filipino fishermen,” according to the joint statement.
House removes confidential, intel funds of some gov’t agencies
NICA is the main intelligence collector of the national government that manages, coordinates, and integrates all intelligence activities, whether in the country or abroad related to national security. The NSC is the primary advisory body for properly coordinating and integrating plans and policies that affect the country’s security.
Similar to the decision of the House, the Senate will also remove or terminate the CIF of some government agencies.
According to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, the funds will be transferred to the intelligence community, the PCG, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which are most in need due to the current situation in the WPS.
When Zubiri was asked if the Office of the Vice-President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) were involved in transferring funds, he said that they would review all the agency’s CIF.
Some congressmen and senators are questioning Vice President Sara Duterte’s request for a P500 million confidential fund for the OVP and a P150 million confidential fund for the DepEd.