MANILA — Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Monday protested the confidential funds sought by the Department of Education (DepEd) for 2023, saying there was "no extraordinarily compelling reasons" for such allocation.
During the Senate's plenary deliberations on the DepEd's proposed P676.24 billion budget next year, Hontiveros called for the realignment of its P150 million confidential funds.
"Mas magagamit natin ang confidential funds sa mas mahalagang prayoridad para sa mga batang mag-aaral," Hontiveros said.
"After all, we should enable and empower school authorities to collaborate with national and local agencies to address and respond to their peace and order, law enforcement, and security needs," she added.
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte earlier said the confidential fund would be used for programs against "sexual grooming," "active shooter copycats," "insurgency recruitment" of children, and drug involvement of learners.
Duterte also said she leaves it to the Congress to decide on whether they will approve or reject their proposal for a confidential fund.
Aside from Hontiveros, fellow minority bloc senator Koko Pimentel is also objecting to the DepEd's confidential fund.
Hontiveros said she will formally move for the realignment of DepEd's P150 million confidential fund at the "proper time."