Press Release
October 9, 2011


Senator Franklin Drilon has lauded the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) for realigning some P23.5 million from its intelligence fund to regular items in its proposed budget for next year, backing the agency's bid to promote transparency in the budget.

And as such, Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, urged other government agencies that have intelligence funds in their respective budgets to follow suit to NICA, the lead intelligence collection agency of the government.

"I fully support this (realignment) because it now becomes part of the regular budget items," said Drilon during a hearing of NICA's P458.6 million proposed budget for 2012, adding that realignments should be done without prejudice to national security.

A total of P43.5 million has been allocated for NICA's intelligence fund this year, but the agency has trimmed it to P20 million in next year's proposed outlay.

The realignments, NICA director-general Trifonio Salazar said, went to regular items such as utilities, rental of houses, provision for gasoline, and maintenance of vehicles, among others.

Drilon said intelligence funds of various agencies should be reallocated to regular items in the budget in a bid to promote transparency.

Current rules, Drilon said, are liberal as auditing intelligence funds only requires mere certifications even without the support of receipts.

Drilon said intelligence funds should be put as regular items so that accounting of those funds will no longer be in the nature of intelligence funds but as an ordinary item of expense where it will be liquidated in accordance with the government auditing rules.

Drilon has since advocated the realignment of intelligence funds, saying the practice of liquidating the funds by simply saying the agency has been able to spend it must be stopped.

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