Angara: DepEd confidential fund may be realigned to OVP's proposed 2023 budget

By GISELLE OMBAY,GMA Integrated News

Senator Sonny Angara on Sunday floated the possibility of realigning the Department of Education’s (DepEd) proposed P150 million confidential fund to the budget of the Office of the Vice President for the fiscal year 2023.

Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that some lawmakers were inclined to transfer the confidential fund sought by the DepEd to the OVP.

Both agencies are led by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

“Parang mas komportable ang ibang mambabatas na mas ilagay na lang doon sa Office of the Vice President dahil ayun talaga mas nakatutok sa buong burukrasya at buong bansa ay pinupuntahan at tinitingnan. Bahagi din siya ng tinatawag na security establishment dahil siya ay Bise Presidente,” the senator said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview.

(It seems that other legislators are more comfortable placing it with the Office of the Vice President because it is more focused on the entire bureaucracy and the whole country can approach it the know about it. The OVP is also part of the so-called security establishment because she is the Vice President.)

“Realigned… ’yan ang mga posibilidad diyan eh… o ilipat sa Office of the Vice President dahil pareho naman na tanggapan ay sa ilalim ni Vice President Duterte,” he added.

Aside from the proposed P150 million confidential fund for DepEd, the OVP is also seeking a P500 million confidential fund.

Duterte earlier said that the P650 million total confidential funds for both the OVP and DepEd were essential to address the problems of the education sector.

DepEd said that surveillance and intelligence gathering were needed to ensure that its projects were target-specific and would result in the broader protection of their personnel and students against sexual abuse and all other forms of violence, graft, and corruption; involvement in illegal drugs of learners and personnel; recruitment to insurgency, terrorism, and violent extremism; child labor; child pornography; and recruitment to criminal activities, gangsterism, and financial and other scams.


Last Monday, senators approved the proposed P667.18-billion 2023 DepEd and attached agencies budget, including the requested P150 million confidential fund.

However, Senator Risa Hontiveros pushed for the realignment of the confidential fund, saying there were “no extraordinarily compelling reasons” to approve the appropriation.

Angara said that the Senate was still in the “period of amendments” and would discuss which of the sought budgets, including confidential funds, of various government agencies needed to be reduced or increased.

This came after Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said that he would move for the deletion of the OVP’s P500 million confidential fund at the proper time.

“Pag-aaralan namin ‘yan. Pero sa’kin, parang hindi maganda na halal ng tao ‘yan, at binigyan ng Pangulo ng pondo sa ilalim ng kanyang kauna-unahang budget… tapos tatanggalan natin ng pondo,” Angara said.

(We will study that. But to me, it seems inappropriate that Duterte was elected, and the President gave her such funds under his first budget...then we will remove it.)

“Kung ako ang tatanungin ng personal, ‘wag naman nating ilabas ‘yun (confidential fund) sa kanyang opisina sapagkat gusto ng taumbayan at gusto ng Pangulo na magtagumpay ang ating Bise Presidente dahil siya ay isang mahalagang bahagi ng kanyang administrasyon,” he added.

(If you ask me personally, let's not remove that from her office because the people and the President want our Vice President to succeed because she is an important part of his administration.) — DVM, GMA Integrated News