A ranking Opposition leader challenged the Office of the President to divert its billions of pesos in intelligence fund to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) emergency funds.
Erin Tanada, Liberal Party vice president for external affairs, said its time for the OP to put their P4.5 billion intelligence budget to good use, instead of using it to fund their failed intelligence gathering.
“Mas maiging gamitin na lang ang intelligence fund ng OP upang tustusan ang pangangailangan ng Department of Health para sa Covid-19 kaysa gastusin ito sa palpak na pangangalap ng impormasyon,” said Tanada.
Tanada lamented the fact that the DOH only has 2,000 Covid-19 testing kits during this critical time while the OP enjoys enormous funding for its incompetent intelligence gathering.
“Nakakalungkot na habang tila namamalimos sa pondo ang DOH para makabili ng testing kit habang nagmamantika ang bibig ng OP sa intelligence fund,” Tanada stressed.
The former lawmaker from Quezon said if Duterte is really serious in addressing the Covid-19 issue, he would immediately order the diversion of the intelligence fund for DOH’s use.
“Kung totoong may malasakit ang Pangulo sa mga Pilipino, hindi na siya magdadalawang isip na ilipat ang pondong ito at gawing pampuno sa pangangailangan ng DOH,” said Tanada.
He pointed out that there’s no need for the government to obtain loans to contain the virus.
Also, Tanada commended the House of Representatives for trying to pass a supplemental budget but questioned Malacanang’s refusal to certify it as urgent.
“We thank the House for its quick action but there are funds that can be accessed even faster to face this emergency, which is intel funds,” he said, adding that House action will still pass the Senate and Congress will go on recess on Thursday.