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Lagman: Remove ‘unnecessary’ confidential funds in 2023 budget

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Veteran legislator Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said that the 2023 national budget must be purged of “unnecessary and excessive” confidential and intelligence funds amounting to P9.29 billion.

Lagman said that the amount is inserted in various offices, claiming that it is much bigger than the appropriations of many government agencies and departments, including the constitutional commissions and offices.

“No stretch of the imagination or flexibility of logic can justify the P500 million in the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and another P150 million in the Department of Education (DepEd), both under Vice President Sara Duterte,” said Lagman.

“The OVP is not a surveillance agency and has no jurisdiction over matters of national security,” he added.

“The novels of Agatha Christie and the exploits of Sherlock Holmes are not staple readings for basic education and the mandate of DepEd does not include detective activities,” he continued.

The House of Representatives approved on final reading last September 28 the P5.298 trillion national budget.

“Since the utilization of confidential and intelligence funds are shrouded in mystery and the supposed audit by the Commission on Audit (COA) could not be disclosed to the Congress and the public, these funds breed corruption, and the more enormous the funds are, the greater the magnitude is for the possibility of graft,” he said..

“I reiterate my call to the Congress to exercise judiciousness and frugality in the allocation of confidential and intelligence funds,” he continued.

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