MANILA, Philippines – The Senate has agreed to reconstitute the select oversight committee on intelligence and confidential funds, naming the resolution’s proponent, Senator Gregorio Honasan, to chair the panel.
Proposed Senate Resolution No. 361 said the committee would “enable the Senate to oversee the efficiency of concerned government institutions in the production of accurate and timely intelligence information to better deal with the threats to national security, including the maintenance of peace and order.”
Senators Panfilo Lacson, Richard Gordon, Emmanuel Pacquiao, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and Francis Pangilinan were named members of the committee.
“In light of the recent threats to our country’s national security, including disturbance to peace and order by lawless elements, the importance of gathering intelligence information by concerned government agencies cannot be overstated,” Honasan said in a statement.
He also noted that in the 2017 General Appropriations Act alone, P5.48 billion has been allocated for confidential and intelligence funds “to implement programs and activities of the government, relative to national defense, peace and order, and national security.”
The select oversight committee also existed in the 10th to 16th Congresses.
According to the resolution, the new Select Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds in the 17thCongress would allow the Senate to “continue exercising its oversight functions over the use, disbursement and expenditures of confidential and intelligence funds granted to certain government agencies; and to provide vigilant legislative oversight over the conduct of these activities.”
These funds are not subject to regular auditing rules and procedures.