Press Release
August 5, 2023

Pimentel disappointed over huge CIFs in 2024 budget

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III expressed deep concern over the priorities set forth by the Marcos administration in the proposed P5.768-trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP) and questioned the government's commitment to addressing the pressing needs of the country.

"The allocation of P9.2 billion to confidential and intelligence funds while our fellow Filipinos in calamity-stricken areas suffer raises serious questions about the government's understanding of the real needs and challenges faced by our country," Pimentel said in a statement on Saturday.

Of the proposed allocation in CIFs, P4.5 billion will go to the Office of the President, P500 million to the Office of the Vice President, and P1.7 billion to the Department of National Defense, among others.

"This budgetary decision is a huge mistake. It only strengthens what I discussed during my contra SONA that the government failed to understand the situation at the household level," Pimentel said.

"It shows the lack of empathy and understanding of the real needs of ordinary Filipinos," he added.

The Senate chief fiscalizer said that given the devastating effects of the recent typhoons as well as the possible impact of the El Niño phenomenon, "every peso counts."

"The recent typhoons that struck most parts of Central and Northern Luzon like Bulacan, Pampanga, and Cagayan leaving behind a trail of destruction and hardship, require a robust response from the government," Pimentel said.

In agriculture alone, the Department of Agriculture estimated the damage caused by the recent Typhoon Egay and the southwest monsoon or habagat to be around P1.9 billion, Pimentel noted.

"The funds should be used to aid in their recovery and rebuilding," he said.

Pimentel vowed to scrutinize the proposed 2024 national budget.

"The struggles our countrymen endure day in and day out must be addressed through meaningful budgetary allocations that directly benefit the lives of our people" Pimentel stressed.

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