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Senate: Due respect for Sara’s confidential fund request

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Senate: Due respect for Saraâs confidential fund request
Photo shows of Vice President Sara Duterte on September 14, 2022
Facebook Page of Sara Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — The request of Vice President Sara Duterte for the inclusion of P650 million in confidential funds of her office and the Department of Education (DepEd) in the 2023 national budget is not expected to face opposition in the Senate, according to Sen. Sonny Angara.

Angara, who heads the Senate deliberations on the proposed P5.268-trillion national budget, said the Department of Budget and Management approved Duterte’s request of P500 million and P150 million for the Office of the Vice President and DepEd, respectively.

“Traditionally, the Senate gives deference to the Office of the President, the OVP, the constitutional commissions and the judiciary, but this does not mean that their funds are beyond scrutiny,” Angara said recently on OneNews’ “The Chiefs” aired on Cignal TV/TV5.

He said the OVP does not have a permanent office and its employees work in separate locations.

“Maybe we should strengthen the OVP to have a permanent home… to enhance its operational efficiency,” Angara said.

He admitted that he was not sure how confidential funds are spent, but noted that some agencies use them to procure equipment.

“The cover is usually a national security concern. In this case, because the Vice President was a former mayor and had use of confidential funds, she’s used to that kind of set up,” Angara said.

He said the allocation of confidential funds to the OVP and the DepEd is not unprecedented, as it had been done during the administration of the late president Benigno Aquino III. – Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Sheila Crisostomo

SARA DUTERTE

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