Ombudsman Asks P1 Million Confidential Fund Instead of P51 Million — Good Move!

Ombudsman Requests Senate, House To Reduce Confidential Fund

I believe that the move of the Ombudsman is one good example for the other offices whose mandate is not directly connected for which the Confidential Fund is designed for.

The issues surrounding the Confidential Funds of the Office of Vice President Sara Duterte in 2022 sparked countless headlines and reactions. Many Filipinos were left with nothing but questions on how the OVP spent P125 million in less than two (2) weeks.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires
Photo Credit: Philippine Star

The Confidential Funds is designed for the spendings on activities and projects relevant to national security and peace and order. Senator Risa Hontiveros cited that the Confidential Fund of the OVP was higher than a combined CIFs of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) — two (2) bodies whose mandates are directly in line with promoting national security.

Duterte requested P500 million in CIF under the OVP and P150 million under the Department of Education which she also heads. A house panel recently gave zero confidential funds to the OVP, DepEd, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Amid the grilling issues surrounding the CIFs of the government agencies, the Ombudsman which previously requested for Confidential Fund amounting to P51 million requested for a reduction of its CIFs to P1 million.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires has already penned a letter of request to the Senate and the House of Representatives asking to reduce his office’s CIFs from P51 million to P1 million. According to him, he prefers not to have CIFs if it will only taint the reputation and integrity of his office. He believes that they can survive even without the Confidential Fund.

I admit, there are questions why it is only now that the Ombudsman considered the request for reduction of its Confidential Fund now that there are grilling issues regarding the matter. Why only now? Why the office asks for CIFs if it can survive without it?

I believe there are valid answers to those questions and instead of digging deep on the motive behind the move, I prefer to see such move of the Ombudsman as a good example to all the other government agencies. An office or agency that has enough fund to operate and work on its mandate must stay away from funds like the CIF. The CIFs can still be useful on a lot of other matters like boosting the country’s security arm in the disputed islands.

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

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