Actor-comedian Janno Gibbs made a humorous analogy in relation to the confidential funds recently being sought by some government offices for their proposed budgets next year.
In an Instagram post last September 15, Janno shared a text with a black background. He captioned it with “#confidential.”
“‘Pag nag-withdraw ako ng 100K [100,000] sa bangko at tinanong ako ni misis, ‘Para saan ‘yan?’ At sinagot ko ng ‘confidential,’ basag ang mukha ko!” Janno’s post read.
He accompanied the post with emojis of a rolling-on-the-floor laughing face, peace sign and a smiling-face-with-horns.
View this post on Instagram
It also caught the attention of some fellow personalities like Maui Taylor, Aiko Melendez and Sam YG, who all commented with laughing face emojis.
Others agreed with his analogy.
“Nadali mo, sir!” an Instagram user wrote.
“Hahahaha, malamang sa malamang ‘yan,” another follower said.
“Oh, the best analogy!” exclaimed a different Pinoy with clapping emojis.
What confidential funds?
Last Monday, the Department of Education defended its proposed P150 million budget to be allotted for confidential expenses in 2023.
Budget documents from 2016 to 2022, however, do not show such type of funding being allocated to the DepEd.
DepEd said that the confidential funds had legal basis under a joint circular by the Department of Budget and Management, particularly DBM Joint Circular 2015-01.
The circular notes that confidential funds may only be used for, among other things, “uncovering and preventing illegal activities that pose a clear and present danger to agency personnel or property, or other facilities and resources under the agency’s protection, done in coordination with the appropriate law enforcement agencies.”
The DepEd in its statement said that there are “threats to the learning environment, safety, and security of DepEd personnel” which “are interlocking with the mandate of support to the national security of civilian offices.”
It cited that some issues such as sexual abuse, recruitment to insurgency, child labor and gangsterism, among others, need “the support of surveillance and intelligence gathering” for the office to ensure it has “target-specific” projects that will result in “broader protection” of its personnel and learners.
“We hope that this will enlighten our stakeholders that DepEd does not only face problems with access, equity, and quality education but also has to contend with pressing issues on safety and security,” the DepEd said.
Reports note that Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has not yet disclosed if DepEd is coordinating with law enforcement personnel to arrest any illegal activities that pose a present danger as outlined in the DBM joint circular.
DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa assured the public that the funds would be used in compliance with the existing policy issued by several government agencies like the Commission on Audit (COA).
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Office of the President (OP) also sought confidential funds for 2023 which amounts to P500 million and P4.5 billion, respectively.
The OVP said that its confidential expenses will be supposedly devoted to projects related to national security and peace and order.
“The position and mandate of the Vice President allow her to utilize those kinds of funds regarding peace and order and national security, especially since we have livelihood projects that will be implemented in conflict areas in our attempt to maintain peace and order and pursue national security projects,” Reynold Munsayac, Duterte’s spokesperson, said.
Similar to DepEd, budget documents from 2016 to 2022 showed no such funding allocated to the OVP.
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Meanwhile, the OP sought a P4.5 billion budget for its confidential and intelligence funds.
Confidential funds, according to the COA, are funds “pertaining/related to surveillance activities in civilian government agencies that are intended to support the mandate or operations of the agency.”
Intelligence funds, on the other hand, are expenses “related to intelligence information gathering activities of uniformed and military personnel, and Intelligence Practitioners that have direct impact to national security.”
Former president Rodrigo Duterte also sought the same amount during last year’s budget season that covered the year 2022.