VP Duterte defends P650-M confidential funds for OVP, DepEd

Vice President Sara Duterte, who is also the secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), expressed concern about the millions of proposed confidential funds in 2023 — part of which will be used against illegal activities that are said to target students.

This is Duterte’s response when asked by Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas about the P500 million confidential funds that would be allocated to the Office of the Vice President and another P150 million for DepEd even though there are no funds for the construction of 167,000 classrooms and the repair of 149,000 others.

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“The OVP and the DepEd are two separate entities with separate mandates. The success of the programs, activities and projects [of an agency] depends on very good intelligence [reports] and surveillance because you want to target specific issues and challenges,” said Sara Duterte while presenting the proposed P710 billion budget for DepEd.

“We need the help of the security sector to address these challenges to basic education.”

“Basic is directly linked to the national security of our country.”

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She said that today have many problems such as sexual grooming and sexual abuse, in addition to the recruitment of youth in criminal activities, drug abuse by youth, etc.

There is not even a penny for confidential funds under OVP and DepEd under the 2022 national budget.

“Kulang tayo sa classrooms, kulang tayo sa upuan, kulang tayo sa textbook learning tapos maglalagay tayo ng confidential funds na di naman natin maa-account. Sana man lang mailagay na lang ‘yung pondo sa mga dapat nilang kalagyan,” said Brosas.

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VP Duterte defends P650-M confidential funds for OVP, DepEd

Confidential funds do not go through an audit.

The House appropriations panel just approved in under seven minutes the P2.37-billion budget requested by the OVP, which is now being criticized.

It did not go through questions or comments from committee members in the name of “courtesy.”

“Lubos ang ating pasasalamat sa House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee sa mabilis na pagdinig ng ating budget proposal para sa Office of the Vice President at sa Department of Education para sa taong 2023 ngayong araw,” said Duterte in a statement yesterday.

“Dahil dito, panatag po tayong maisakatuparan ang mga programa at mga proyekto ng Office of the Vice President at ng Department of Education, kasama na ang mga OVP satellite offices na itinatag sa iba’t-ibang bahagi ng bansa na nagbibigay-daan sa pamahalaan na palawakin pa ang saklaw ng mga serbisyong panlipunan nito.”

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