MANILA — Vice President Sara Duterte's office defended on Thursday the confidential expenses and good governance funds under its 2023 budget proposal.
Office of the Vice President (OVP) spokesperson Reynold Munsayac said its P2.2-billion good governance fund was earmarked for public assistance, such as basic social services, medical and burial assistance, the "Libreng Sakay" project, and livelihood programs.
Meanwhile, the P500-million "confidential expenses" will be used for programs related to peace and order, and national security, Munsayac said in a press briefing.
"The confidential fund was requested and will be utilized using the parameters set by the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and the COA (Commission on Audit) in their joint circular," he said.
"The position and mandate of the Vice President allows her to utilize those kinds of funds regarding peace and order and national security, especially [since] we have livelihood projects that will be implemented in conflict areas," he added.
Asked to comment on the issue that Duterte's budget request is higher than former Vice President Leni Robredo's budget, Munsayac said each government agency has their own "priority projects."
"Bawat po head of agency, executive man yan o kung anong ahensya hawak niya, mayroon po silang priority projects at kami po, ang request namin na budget, iyan iyong sa tingin namin kailangan namin para i-implement namin iyong mga priority projects namin," he said.
"Siguro iyong nakaraang administrasyon, mayroon silang certain projects at iyong budget nila ay sufficient na para doon," he added.
(Each head of agency has his or her priority projects and the budget we requested is what we think we need to implement our priority projects. Perhaps the previous administration had certain projects and their budget was sufficient for those.)
Munsayac said the OVP would be transparent in handling the funds.