MANILA—The office of President Rodrigo Duterte sought to almost double its confidential and intelligence funds in 2020.
Based on the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for next year, the Office of the President (OP) wants P2.25 billion allotted each for its confidential and intelligence expenses, totaling P4.5 billion.
In 2018 and 2019, the amount the OP requested was at P2.5 billion in each of those 2 years, or P1.25 billion split between confidential and intelligence expenses.
Duterte's office is seeking an P8.2-billion total budget for 2020, higher than the P6.7 billion allocated for this year.
In its proposed 2020 budget, some P6.7 billion will be appropriated for maintenance and operating expenses, P1.1 billion for personnel services, and P427 million to capital outlay.
Sought for comment, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he does not know the reason for the budget increase.
"I do not know exactly the reason, but if you ask me, I will be using my common sense, by saying that you really need money if you want to secure your country and the Office of the President is one of the better offices that can secure the security of the land," he said. — With reports from RG Cruz and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News