Press Release
November 3, 2010


Senator Franklin Drilon is seeking to redistribute the intelligence fund to regular items rather than being included as a lump sum item in the budget which is not subject to audit.

This, as the Office of the President (OP) has reduced its confidential and intelligence fund to P400 million from the initial P650 million in the proposed P1.6 trillion 2011 national budget.

"The government should take a look and revisit the use of intelligence funds to reprogram it to line functions which will be opened to a regular audit, rather than under the lump sum of confidential funds," Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said.

"With this, we can properly monitor if the intelligence funds were actually used for security purposes," he added.

The senator said that the under the proposal submitted by the OP to Congress, P150 million would have been allocated to the OP proper, while P500 million for the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF).

Upon Drilon's initiative, the OP proper trimmed its intelligence fund by P50 million and another P250 million was slashed from the intelligence fund of PAOCTF and reallocated for various programs under OP.

"We need to put intelligence funds as regular items so that the accounting and auditing of those funds will no longer be in the nature of intelligence funds but as an ordinary item of expense where it will be liquidated in accordance with the government auditing code," Drilon said.

Drilon's committee has been averse to intelligence and confidential funds to civilian offices, noting that among others, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation should only be the ones engaged in intelligence activities.

But Drilon said that he understands the OP should have adequate, but not excessive, intelligence funds due to presidential state visits abroad.

As part of the review of the 2011 outlay, Drilon uncovered that part of the misuse of intelligence funds during the Arroyo administration was "liquidation by certification," wherein the head of a particular agency or state firm has the sole jurisdiction of how the money would be spent.

The 2010 budget carries P1.380 billion as intelligence funds, while the proposed 2011 budget indicates P1.425 billion as intelligence funds, according to Drilon. The total intelligence fund does not include intelligence funds allocated by local government units and in the corporate operating budgets of state enterprises.

"We want an entire picture of how much would be the intelligence fund of the entire government structure because we suspect that this is being abused... This has been abused so that everybody now under the rubric of an intelligence fund would be allowed to liquidate this by mere certification," Drilon stated.

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