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DepEd’s P150-million confidential fund will be used within gov’t rules – VP Sara

DepEd’s P150-million confidential fund will be used within gov’t rules – VP Sara

The Department of Education’s P150-million confidential fund will only be used in activities that are allowed under government rules, DepEd Secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte guaranteed.

VP Sara cited the Joint Circular 2015-01 of five government agencies including the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of National Defense.

“The use for these confidential funds is expenses pertaining or related to surveillance activities and civilian government agencies that are intended to support the mandate or operations of the agency,” Duterte read.

“We’d like to put it on record that we reassure the Congress and the public that these funds will be used in relation to what is allowed in the joint circular of those agencies mentioned earlier 2015-01,” she said.

She shared the challenges that the department is facing such as drug involvement of personnel and students, abuses, violent extremism and terrorism, insurgency, and scam.

Despite Duterte’s explanation, Hontiveros believes that the confidential fund is more appropriate for security, defense, and protection entities.

“’Yung subject activities in the joint circular parang mas bagay po, honestly, mas bagay pang confidential and intelligence funds for our existing national security, national defense, law enforcement, even women and children protection governmental bodies and programs,” Hontiveros said.

Risa further asked Sara if she is open to realigning the confidential fund.

“With regard to budget cuts, within the Department of Education, we can work out realignments in our budget so we can fund programs, activities, and projects that need funding,” Duterte answered.

“With regard to the confidential funds, this is a proposal that we submitted to Congress. As I said earlier with regard to the confidential fund of the Office of the Vice President, we submit to the wisdom of Congress with regard to the amount and the proprietary matter on, decision on confidential funds,” she continued.