Politics

VP’s office asked to give up P500-M confidential fund  

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VICE President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio (seated in front) attends the 2023 budget hearing for the two offices on Sept. 22 at the House of Representatives. — OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE OF INDAY SARA DUTERTE

A LAWMAKER on Thursday asked the Office of the Vice-President (OVP) to give up a P500-million confidential fund under its 2023 proposed budget, which could be reallocated to other agencies whose appropriations have been cut due to financial strain in public funds.   

“Could the distinguished sponsor ask the honorable (Vice-President Sara Duterte-Carpio) if she is willing to forego (her office’s) confidential funds,” Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman said during plenary debates at the House of Representatives.   

Earlier this month, OVP Spokesperson Reynold S. Munsayac said confidential funds would be used for programs related to peace and order and national security.   

Davao de Oro Rep. Maria Carmen S. Zamora, sponsor of the OVP’s 2023 budget, said the vice-president would be able to make full use of the funds to assist President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and the other offices under the executive department.   

Ms. Duterte later told Ms. Zamora she will defer to the decision of Congress on the confidential fund.   

The OVP will receive P2.3 billion in the 2023 National Expenditure Program, 228.4% higher than this year’s budget of P702,035. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo