Escudero eyes increase in PCG intelligence fund
Escudero eyes increase in PCG intelligence fund
Escudero eyes increase in PCG intelligence fund
by Mhillen Nicole Borja16 August 2023
Photo courtesy: Chiz Escudero Facebook

Senator Chiz Escudero is committed to assisting the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in strengthening its intelligence fund for the 2024 national budget.

In an interview, he asserted that his focus is on improving the PCG's ability to protect the country's waters.

Escudero pledged support for the Coast Guard, emphasizing that the PCG's P10-million intelligence fund has remained the same since 2009.

"I will look into the fact if we can augment--not from the Capital Outlays, Personnel Services or from the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses--but from the intelligence and confidential budget already proposed by the DBM (Department of Budget and Management)," he said.


He highlighted the need to reallocate funds without affecting vital areas like social services, suggesting the increase should come from the Executive Branch's proposed intelligence and confidential funds.

"Para within the same amount na lang ang pag-uusapan natin. Huwag tayo magbawas ng tulay at mga school buildings. Huwag magbawas ng hospital o magbawas ng social services para dagdagan ang intelligence fund ng Coast Guard," he pointed out.

"Dapat manggaling din 'yan sa intelligence and confidential funds na prino-propose ng Executive Branch," Escudero emphasized.

The senator acknowledged that even if Congress doesn't add to the intelligence fund, the President can supplement it later.


Escudero clarified his plan to allocate at least P100 million for structures in Ayungin Shoal. This won't be an extra expense on top of the proposed budget.

"The Senate President expressed support yesterday (Aug. 14) that he will help in carving out the budget. This is not on top of the budget; we will just carve out from the existing proposed budget an amount to do this," he further explained.

With Senate President and colleagues' support, Escudero aims to allocate funds from the existing budget for this purpose.

"I will put it in the budget as a cover. Sen Jinggoy (Estrada) said it might not be enough and I said 'I would have been happy with the P100 million but if you want to increase it, you have my blessing,'" Escudero concluded.


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