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MANILA, Philippines – Despite reeling under a pandemic in 2021, the Office of the President (OP) under the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte spent a total of P4.5 billion in confidential and intelligence funds (CIF).
According to the 2021 Annual Financial Report (AFR) on National Government Agencies released by the Commission on Audit last October 7, the OP disbursed P2.25 billion confidential funds and P2.25 billion intelligence funds in the second year of the COVID-19 lockdowns and Duterte’s final full year in office.
The public can view AFRs of national government agencies, local government units, government-owned and/or controlled corporations, and Annual Reports on allotments, obligations and disbursement in this section of the COA website .
COA defines confidential expenses as outlays on surveillance activities of civilian government agencies. Meanwhile, intelligence expenses are disbursements related to intelligence information gathering activities of uniformed, military personnel, and intelligence practitioners.
The 2021 CIF spending of the OP actually went down compared to the previous year when it used up P4.636 billion. The government-imposed lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic was first implemented in March of 2020.
The total CIF spent by the OP in 2021 though was P1.73 billion more than the combined P2.769 billion outlay that year of two Executive branch agencies – the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The DND spent P1.860 billion for CIF (P1.838 billion intelligence; P22.25 million confidential); DILG incurred P908.45 million CIF (P848.45 million intelligence; P60 million confidential).
Under the defense department are the Armed Forces of the Philippines. While the interior department handles the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Compared to the previous year the national government spent less CIF in its last year of administration. It used P9.443 billion CIF in 2020, against P9.082 billion in 2021, down by P361.3 million.
Here are some of the confidential fund spent by agencies of the Executive branch in 2021:
- Department of Justice (DOJ) – P258.21 million
- Department of Finance (DOF) – P60.625 million
- Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – P31.74 million
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – P20.038 million
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – P15 million
- Department of Transportation (DOTr) P6.85 million and P10 million for intelligence;
- Commission on Audit P10 million
- Office of the Ombudsman P3.023 million
- Commission on Human Rights (CHR) P500,000 and P136,600 for intelligence.