Palace limits intel funds for gov't agencies

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2011 02:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 09 2011 10:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration has limited the allocation of intelligence funds for government agencies under the proposed 2012 national budget.

"We have limited the provision of intelligence funds ... to the military and law enforcement agencies as well as certain civilian agencies," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said during budget deliberations in the Senate on Tuesday.

"For those that do not have the capacity for intelligence-gathering, we have scrapped intelligence funds."

Abad told the Senate finance committee that only the following agencies will get intelligence funds next year:
- Office of the President
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- Bureau of Customs
- Philippine National Police
- Department of Justice
- Bureau of Immigration
- National Bureau of Investigation
- Department of National Defense
- Armed Forces of the Philippines
- Civil Aeronautics Board
- Office of Transportation Security
- Anti-Money Laundering Council
- National Intelligence Coordinating Agency
- Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
- Office of the Ombudsman

Government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCC), the Office of the Vice President, the judiciary,  Commission on Elections,  Office of the Solicitor General, Presidential Commission on Good Government, Public Attorney's Office, National Security Council, National Telecommunications Commission, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process will not have intelligence funds.

Discretionary in nature, intelligence funds are liquidated only through certification, without the need for receipts and details of actual spending. Lawmakers have noted that the funds are prone to abuse.

One GOCC, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, became the subject of a recent Senate inquiry over the alleged misuse of its intelligence funds by its previous board.