“Confidential Funds” Clear as Mud to Filipinos — PH Gov’t Must Explain

The Filipino people is visibly divided by the confidential funds controversy showing a dire need for the Philippine government to make a pressing move.

Countless issues are going in the Philippines now. One of those that has ignited different reactions from the public is about the controversial “transfer” of the funds from the Office of the President to the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in 2022. Some called it illegal and unconstitutional over the basis that transfer of funds among offices are not allowed. Others defended its legality with the approval of the Chief Executive.

Bongbong Marcos, Sara Duterte
Photo Credit: GMA News

Amid the issues and the grilling controversies, Vice President Sara Duterte thanked Pres. Bongbong Marcos for standing by the OVP. Senator Risa Hontiveros who questioned the OVP Chief pinpointed that her office’s CF is bigger than the CF of the Department of National Defense and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

While the higher officials use such highfalutin words in the ears of most ordinary individuals, the Filipino populace is undeniably demanding for concrete justifications of where the people’s money went. There is a visible contrast between a public fund being confidential — I believe this is how many sees it.

This P125-million issue caused opinions to clash without even a clear move to define what the budget is allocated for. The Philippine government, with the duty to inform the people and make clarifications on pressing issues like this, must make an action.

Confidential Funds
Photo Credit: Inquirer

The confidential funds is a product of the 2015 joint circular between the Commission on Audit (COA), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Governance Commission for Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG), and the Department of National Defense. Under the mandate, it was crafted for utilization on the following:

  • activities and projects relevant to national security and peace and order
  • rental and incidental expenses in safehouses’ maintenance
  • rental of transport vehicle related to confidential activities
  • purchase of supplies and materials for confidential operations
  • payment of rewards to informers
  • illegal activities that pose a clear and present danger to agency employees, properties, and facilities

Considering the mandate of the 2015 circular, there are strict limits on the usage of confidential funds. While it is open to the national government agencies (NGAs), the local governments, and the GOCCs, I cannot close eyes on a huge possibility that many offices are not directly in the pursuit of the mandate for this type of fund.

There is a dire need for the PH government to clarify confidential funds to the people, its existence, and to dig deeper on how an office intended can actually guard the public fund that is not publicly disclosed. How much is enough for an office?

Why a lot of people are reacting differently? Truth be told that many are not just “not informed” but also “not convinced” on how it would positively work for the good of the people and the country.

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Disclaimer: The content of the article posted above is a sole opinion of the writer and does not represent the whole media company. Also, the citations provided are based on the information deemed as facts by the different legit sources and contribute to the basis of the making of the whole viewpoint. The writer does not, in any form, intend to create inacurrate understanding of the topic or influence the readers instead, express one’s viewpoint in a formal manner.

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