Drilon: 2012 budget leaves no room for 'conversion'

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2011 03:34 PM | Updated as of Aug 10 2011 06:17 AM

MANILA, Philippines - There will no longer be room for the illegal practice of converting funds for purposes other than what they were intended for in the proposed national budget for 2012.

Senate finance committee chairman Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said the allocation for vacant positions in the government will be placed in the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund (MPBF).

In previous years, government agencies turned the money for unfilled positions into savings then used them for other purposes.

"This is a source of conversion not only in the military but also in other agencies which would come in the form of bonuses and other emoluments," Drilon said.

Early this year, the Senate investigated allegations of corruption in the military involving the conversion to other purposes of its slush fund, a part of which came from unused money for vacant positions.

This year, Drilon said the government has P23 billion from 66,957 unfilled positions in government. The amount will go to to the MPBF, and will only be released upon an agency's request to fill up particular positions.

"In other words, this will not automatically be released. It will be released when there is actual hiring to be done," he said.