SURVEILLANCE

The Philippine Government looks to have more Intelligence Funds in 2018 despite admitted lapses in the appreciation of intelligence information before the Maute Group laid seige to Marawi City.

For the whole Government, Intelligence funds will be at some 4.12B next year, up from 3,49B this year.

President Duterte’s Intelligence Funds however remain unchanged even if his  office Budget is down in 2018 to about 1/3 of its budget for 2017.

The President’s Intelligence Expenses remain at 1.25B while his Confidential expenses are also at 1.25B.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno explained, “- No increase. Still 2.5, (why is that?) Wala naman syang nirequest sa akin Hindi ko alam yung ibang ano, but I know that the confidential fund is just constant.”

Last year Diokno explained that these funds will go into the campaign against illegal drugs.

From having 20.17B in 2017, the office of the President will only have 6.03B in 2018 based on the 2018 national expendtiure program. The figure however is still 3 times the 2016 OP budget of 2.8B.

Of this amount, 994.15M will go to personnel services, 4.6B will go to Maintenance and other Operating expenses and 370.19M will go to capital outlay.

His Travelling Expenses are also down to 884.97M from 2.1B in 2017.

the office of the cabinet secretary will get about 468.59M

a total of 935.38M was earmarked for local/foreign missions and state visits.

Diokno explained, “Actually nagdecline, tinanggal na ng 15 billion which is for the ASEAN, so that is severely cut, yung office of the President. Hindi naman malaki masyado ang tinanggal but there are many offices under the OP that are candidate for rightsizing. Maybe that will have an impact on 2019. Kasi we expect the budget to be passed around October or November, and then will be up for study and then by 2019

Usually the rightsizing “

The Following is the breakdown of the Travelling, Confidential and Intelligence Funds in the proposed 2018 budget as opposed to the current year’s budget.

GOVT TOTALS 2018 2017

Travelling 17.02B 17.79B

Confidential 2.085B 2.083B

Intelligence 4.12B 3.495B

OP

Confidential 1.25B 1.25B

Intelligence 1.25B 1.25B

Travelling 884.97M 2.1B

DENR

Confidential 13.95M 13.95M

DOF

Confidential 30.5M 30.5M

BOC 19.5M

BIR 10M

DFA

Confidential 50M 0

DILG

Confidential 20.6M 20.6M

Intelligence (PNP) 969.02M 468.79M

DOJ

Confidential 367.28M 400.98M

NBI 120.4M

DND

Confidential 23m 23M

Intelligence 1.87B 1.64B

PA 444M 444M

PAF 17M 17M

PN 39.7M 34.74M

GHQ 1.36B 1.14B

DOTR

Confidential 7.1M 8.6M

Intelligence 10M 10M

AMLC (confidential) 10m 10M

NICA

confidenmtial 1M 1M

intelligence 20.2M 120M

OPAPP

Confidential 60M 60M

PDEA(confidential) 203.6M 203.6M

COA Confidential 10M 10M

Ombudsman Confidential 20M 20M

CHR Confidential 1M 5M

There are also increases the calamity funds and special purpose funds.

calamity fund 2018 25.5B 2017 15.75B

Special Purpose funds

2017 1.3trillion

2018 1.4trillion

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate vowed to scrutinize the higher intelligence spending being planned for 2018. “mas mataas nga ang sa kabuuan ng intelligence fund ng panukalang expenditure program for 2018 kaya busisiin natin ito lalong lalo na sa mga nangyari nitong nakaraan halimbawa kaguluhan sa marawi sabi nila its a failure of intelligence sabi ni sec lorenzana no its a failure to appreciate intelligence anumang nangyari failure of intelligence failure of appreciation merong kapalpakang nangyari doon despite the fact na napakalaki ng pondo na inilaan para sa intelligence fund nila. ibang usapin pa yun saan ba talaga ginagamit itong intelligence fund  bakit nalusutan parin sila ng teroristang…”

Zarate notes that the PNP in particular saw a large increase in the intelligence fund. “engage natin yan lalo na itong PNP saan nila gagamit ito ito bay ginagamit sa gyera kontra droga bakit ganun hanggang sa kasalukuyan meron na ba silang naprosecute dito sa laban sa kontra droga  lumalaking numero ay numero ng napapsalang pero prosekuryon using their intelligence fund ay walang naririnig”

Diokno however said, “ I’m not sure it’s doubled. Baka kasi hindi nyo na pickup, meron kasing mga additional releases this year, or intelligence fund dahil sa Marawi  incident, so titignan natin yung more than doubled.”

Zarate says he will also look into confidential funds. “yan din ating tatanungin ano bang pagkakaiba nitong confidential fund at intelligence fund halos lahat ng departamento may confidential fund may mga departamento ring 2 confidential fund at intelligence fund  yes and DILG merong ganun”

Even the DFA has a confidential fund, which it did not have in 2017.

Diokno explained, “Yes kasi may mga activities din sya… na okay there are 2 things, confidential and intelligence fund. If it’s a military organization, ang tawag doon, intelligence funds. If it’s a normal government agency, like DFA or NBI, confidential na ang tawag dun.

Now kasi minsan may mga kaso na kailangang isolve or something, or may mga OFWs din doon, doon gagamitin yung confidential.”

on the other hand, the Commission on Human Rights Confidential fund was further decimated. “Mabuti nga meron pa silang 1 million e. Quite frankly, bakit kailangan ng CHR ng confidential fund? (with allegations of human rights abuses, don’t you think kailangan mag-investigate) I don’t know what happened there. But there was no instructions from the President, I can tell you that. Kasi alam ko kung may orders si Presidente. In fact hindi naman sya nakialam talaga sa budget. Wala syang instruction.”

President Duterte submitted his budget after the SONA last Monday inside the plenary hall of the Batasan Pambansa.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez vowed to scrutinize the budget. “The President’s 2017 SONA and its vision should be measured and compared by the proposed 2018 National Expenditure Program. Our job now is to make sure that the National Policy enunciated by the President can be effectively implemented through the budget, which he proposed. For the next few months, we will deliberate on the 2018 national budget. Expect that the Minority will scrutinize, interpellate, and object if necessary, should we deem the President’s proposed budget is not aligned with the nation’s best interests.”

The House Committee on Appropriation chaired by Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles has started formal preparations for the actual committee consideration of President Duterete’s proposed P3.767-Trillion 2018 national expenditure program.

 

“It will be a hectic August for the Committee as we aim to finish and file our Committee Report (CR) on the proposed 2018 General Appropriations Act by August 30,” Chairman Nograles revealed.

 

Nograles however said that while his panel is committed in ensuring the speedy approval of the 2018 national expenditure program, “there will be no shortcuts in their effort to scrutinize every single allocation and every single centavo that is contained in the proposed GAA.

 

“We will be fast just like last year without sacrificing prudence in the use of public funds. We will look into the budget down to the smallest detail in order to make sure that that all allocations are realistic and every centavo would be well spent in improving the life of our people,” Nograles said.

 

As per schedule, committee preparations of the still unnumbered bill containing the National Expenditure Program for 2018 has already started, just 24 hours following formal submission by the President during his State of the Nation Address on July 24th.

 

“We are all anxious and ready to tackle the most important  law on which the successful operations of all government departments, agencies and institutions depend,”  Nograles pointed out.

 

Actual committee briefings and hearings on the 1st reading copy of the proposed national budget   actually start on August 1 until August 24, after which a Committee Report will be prepared.  The said CR will again be reviewed by the Appropriations panel for approval of possible amendments introduced during committee deliberations before final committee approval of the report.

 

Following the President’s formal submission to Congress, the proposed national budget bill  will be calendared by the Committee on Rules headed by the Majority Leader for plenary first reading before formally being referred to the Appropriations Committee for actual consideration.

 

Nograles is fervently hoping that the proposed national budget, as a certified urgent measure, will be approved on second and final reading by the House plenary anywhere between September 8 to 14, 2017.

 

“We will have to allot time for printing the voluminous budgetary documents before we transmit it to the Senate by September 21,” Nograles said, confident that the Senate will also go full-throttle on the measure which hopefully could be signed into law by the President by November 15, 2017.