Gov't intel funds to rise in 2018

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2017 11:43 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2017 12:02 AM

The Duterte administration is seeking bigger intelligence funds in 2018.

For the entire government, total intelligence funds are estimated to reach P4.12 billion next year, up from P3.49 billion this year. 

Duterte’s intelligence funds, however, will remain unchanged even if his office budget will be down in 2018 to about 1/3 of its budget for 2017.

The President’s intelligence expenses will stay at P1.25 billion while his confidential expenses are also at P1.25 billion.

“No increase," Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said. "Wala naman syang nirequest sa akin. Hindi ko alam yung ibang ano, but I know that the confidential fund is just constant." 

Diokno said in 2016 that the funds will go into the campaign against illegal drugs.

From P20.17 billion in 2017, the office of the President will have P6.03 billion in 2018 based on the 2018 national expenditure program. The figure, however, is still 3 times the 2016 OP budget of P2.8 billion.

Of this amount, P994.15 million will go to personnel services, P4.6 billion will go to maintenance and other operating expenses, and P370.19 million will go to capital outlay.

His travelling expenses are also down to P884.97 million from P2.1 billion in 2017.

The Office of the Cabinet Secretary will get about P468.59 million in 2018.

A total of P935.38 million was earmarked for local/foreign missions and state visits.

“Actually nag-decline, tinanggal na ng P15 billion which is for the ASEAN, so that is severely cut, iyung office of the President. Hindi naman malaki masyado ang tinanggal but there are many offices under the OP that are candidate for rightsizing. Maybe that will have an impact on 2019. Kasi we expect the budget to be passed around October or November, and then will be up for study and then by 2019," Diokno said.
 
The following is the breakdown of the travelling, confidential, and intelligence funds in the proposed 2018 budget as opposed to the current year’s budget, in Philippine pesos:

GOVT TOTALS    2018  2017
Confidential 2.085B 2.083B
Intelligence 4.12B 3.495B

 

OP    
Confidential 1.25B  1.25B
Intelligence 1.25B 1.25B
Travelling 884.97M 2.1B

 

DENR    
Confidential 13.95M 13.95M

 

DOF    
Confidential 30.5M 30.5M
BOC 19.5M  
BIR 10M  

 

DFA    
Confidential 50M  

 

DILG    
Confidential 20.6M 20.6M
Intelligence (PNP) 969.02M 468.79M

 

DOJ    
Confidential 367.28M 400.98M
NBI 120.4M  

 

DND    
Confidential 23M 23M
Intelligence 1.87B 1.64B
PA 444M 444M
PAF 17M 17M
PN 39.7M 34.74M
GHQ 1.36B 1.14B

 

DOTR    
Confidential 7.1M 8.6M
Intelligence 10M 10M
AMLC (confidential) 10M 10M

 

NICA    
Confidential 1M 1M
Intelligence 20.2M 120M

 

OPAPP    
Confidential 60M 60M
PDEA (Confidential) 203.6M 203.6M
COA Confidential 10M 10M
Ombudsman Confidential 20M 20M
CHR Confidential 1M 5M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also increases the calamity funds and special purpose funds.

Calamity fund 
2018 25.5B
2017 15.75B

Special Purpose funds
2017 1.3trillion
2018 1.4trillion

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate vowed to scrutinize the higher intelligence spending being planned for 2018. 

“Mas mataas nga ang sa kabuuan ng intelligence fund ng panukalang expenditure program for 2018 kaya busisiin natin ito lalong lalo na sa mga nangyari nitong nakaraan, halimbawa kaguluhan sa Marawi," he said.

Zarate said the Philippine National Police saw a large increase in the intelligence fund. 

“Bakit ganun hanggang sa kasalukuyan meron na ba silang naprosecute dito sa laban sa kontra droga? Lumalaking numero ay numero ng napapaslang pero prosekusyon using their intelligence fund ay walang naririnig," he said.

Diokno however said, “I’m not sure it’s doubled. Baka kasi hindi nyo na pickup, meron kasing mga additional releases this year, or intelligence fund dahil sa Marawi incident, so titignan natin yung more than doubled.”

Zarate says he will also look into confidential funds. 

“Ano bang pagkakaiba nitong confidential fund at intelligence fund?Halos lahat ng departamento may confidential fund may mga departamento ring dalawang confidential fund at intelligence fund," he said.

Even the DFA has a confidential fund, which it did not have in 2017, which Diokno said are for overseas Filipino workers' cases.

“Now kasi minsan may mga kaso na kailangang isolve or something, or may mga OFWs din doon, doon gagamitin yung confidential," Diokno said.

On the other hand, the Commission on Human Rights' confidential fund was further decimated. 

“Mabuti nga meron pa silang P1 million eh. Quite frankly, bakit kailangan ng CHR ng confidential fund?" Diokno said.

Duterte submitted his 2018 budget after the SONA last Monday inside the plenary hall of the Batasan Pambansa.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez vowed to scrutinize the budget. 

The House Committee on Appropriation chaired by Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles has started formal preparations for the actual committee consideration of President Duterte's proposed P3.767-trillion 2018 national expenditure program.

"It will be a hectic August for the committee as we aim to finish and file our Committee Report on the proposed 2018 General Appropriations Act by August 30," Nograles said.

Nograles said that while his panel is committed in ensuring the speedy approval of the 2018 national expenditure program, "there will be no shortcuts in their effort to scrutinize every single allocation and every single centavo that is contained in the proposed GAA."

"We will be fast just like last year without sacrificing prudence in the use of public funds. We will look into the budget down to the smallest detail in order to make sure that that all allocations are realistic and every centavo would be well spent in improving the life of our people," he said.

As per schedule, committee preparations of the still unnumbered bill containing the National Expenditure Program for 2018 has already started, just 24 hours following formal submission by the President during his State of the Nation Address on July 24th.

Actual committee briefings and hearings on the 1st reading copy of the proposed national budget start on August 1 until August 24, after which a committee report will be prepared. The said CR will again be reviewed by the Appropriations panel for approval of possible amendments introduced during committee deliberations before final committee approval of the report.

Following the President's formal submission to Congress, the proposed national budget bill will be scheduled by the Committee on Rules headed by the majority Leader for plenary first reading before formally being referred to the Appropriations Committee for actual consideration.

Nograles said he is fervently hoping that the proposed national budget, as a certified urgent measure, will be approved on second and final reading by the House plenary anywhere between September 8 to 14, 2017.

"We will have to allot time for printing the voluminous budgetary documents before we transmit it to the Senate by September 21," Nograles said, confident that the Senate will also go full-throttle on the measure which hopefully could be signed into law by the President by November 15, 2017.