A senior vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations is pushing for the creation of a special oversight committee for confidential and intelligence funds (CIFs) to boost transparency and ensure that people’s money is spent properly.
Senior Vice Chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations and Marikina Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo said the proposed oversight committee would increase transparency in the use of CIFs by government agencies seeking these special allocations.
“I hope you will support me in my call for the creation of a special oversight committee,” said Quimbo, who, in her opening speech to endorse the 2024 spending plan request of the COA, sought the creation of a special panel to be composed of the House Speaker, three members of the majority, and one from the minority.
Under the current setup, only the President, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House have access to information pertaining to CIFs.
According to Quimbo, the P125 million in confidential funds allocated to the Office of the Vice President (OVP) by the Office of the President (OP) was spent in 11 days and not in 19 days, citing information from the Commission on Audit (COA).
Quimbo made this disclosure in the course of plenary debates for the 2024 budget request of COA, during which the Marikina lawmaker revealed that, as per state auditors’ information, the multimillion-peso confidential fund granted to the office of Vice President Sara Duterte for the year 2022 by the OP had been obligated in just 11 days.
As per COA, Quimbo said the OVP has submitted its liquidation report in January 2023 and has been issued an audit observation memorandum, or AOM, on September 18, 2023, by state auditors.
Quimbo said the COA assured Congress that a full report would be submitted on November 15, 2023, as the audit is still ongoing.