Solon: President’s P4.5B confidential fund can be used for salary hike of 460,000 teachers

The proposed P4.5 billion confidential and intelligence funds of the office of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for 2023 can already finance the salary increase for 460,000 teachers which he promised during the campaign period, Kabataan party-list Representative Raoul Manuel said Wednesday.

Manuel made the statement during the House plenary deliberations on the proposed 2023 budget for the Office of the President.

“The P4.5 billion confidential funds of the OP can already fund the salary increase of 460,000 teachers which is one of the campaign promises of the President. That [P4.5 billion] is also equivalent to [the amount needed for] equivalent to salary increase of 368,000 non-teaching personnel,” Manuel said.

The confidential and intelligence funds account for more than half of OP’s P9 billion proposed budget for 2023, he said.

Likewise, Manuel said the amount is already enough to fund repair of 6,800 classrooms or purchase 31,200 school chairs.

He added it can also fund either of the following:

hiring of 9,300 nurses in schools educational assistance to 1.56 million students under the Department of Social Welfare and Development P10,000 student aid for each of 440,000 learners additional 200,000 Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program scholars CHED’s Tulong Dunong scholarship program for 294,000 learners and, improvement of 700,000 classrooms to equip it with proper ventilation

“These are the reasons why this representation moves to realign these confidential and intelligence funds to fund the needed social services,” Manuel said.

GMA News Online sought the comment of Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles on Manuel’s statement and she said “no comment.”

Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco, budget sponsor for the OP, assured Manuel that the confidential and intelligence funds will be used in accordance with laws.

“Rest assured that the funding will be used to facilitate delivery of social services such as the ones cited by our dear colleague, including the budget for the NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict),” Tiangco said.

The NTF-ELCAC is supervised by the President, and its secretariat is under the OP. Some P100 million is allocated for the NTF-ELCAC secretariat under the 2023 budget.

In addition, Tiangco said the amount of the confidential and intelligence funds of the OP has been unchanged since 2020.–AOL, GMA News

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