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MANILA, Philippines – The Davao City government’s annual confidential expenses ballooned from P144 million in 2016 to P460 million when Vice President Sara Duterte was the city’s mayor.
Documents showed that the local government had set aside P144 million for confidential expenses in 2016, with the first half of this allocation falling under the mayorship of Rodrigo Duterte, who rose to the presidency that same year.
Duterte’s daughter Sara assumed the position and served until June 30, 2022, when she was elected vice president.
In 2017, during Sara’s administration, Davao City’s confidential expenses more than doubled to P293 million, marking a substantial increase of 103.5% compared to the preceding year.
In 2018, it increased again to P420 million, reflecting a 43.34% surge from the previous year.
Subsequently, in 2019, the allocation grew again to P460 million and remained fixed at that amount for the years 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Documents showed that the Davao City government set aside over P2.6 billion for confidential expenses over the past seven years, with an annual expenditure of P460 million since 2020. The amount surpasses the confidential spending of even the most affluent cities in the country.
Based on its financial records appended to an annual audit report, the local government had P2.69 billion in confidential expenses from 2016 to 2022. The figure translates to an average annual expenditure of approximately P385 million over the last seven years under the category of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
Since 2019, the Davao City government has allocated P460 million for its confidential expenditures.
When comparing Davao City’s confidential fund spending to that of other major cities, such as Makati City, Manila, Quezon City, and Cebu City – all of which boast significantly higher wealth and income – it becomes evident that Davao City’s expenditures in this category are notably larger.
Based on its 2022 MOOE, Cebu City had an allocation of P7.38 million for “payment for confidential, intelligence, and extraordinary expenses,” marking an increase of P1.96 million from the P5.42 million reported in 2021.
The city government of Manila had confidential fund expenditures of P120 million for both 2021 and 2022.
Makati, the second wealthiest among Philippine cities, recorded confidential expenses of P240 million for both 2021 and 2022.
Meanwhile, Quezon City, which has held the title of the wealthiest city for three consecutive years, allocated confidential expenses amounting to P100 million in 2021 and P75 million in 2022. – Rappler.com