• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said that he is open to any audit into confidential and intelligence funds of local government units, in reaction to the proposal of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri that CIFs of LGUs should also be clipped.
If there is a need to look into confidential funds of all LGUs, so be it, Lacson said.
He revealed that the provincial government of Negros Occidental has P8 million CIF every year, which he has no intention of increasing.
“Let’s do with that,” Lacson said, as the CIFs are allocated from the Peace and Order (POC) funds.
Zubiri said CIFs of some cities amount to 90 percent of their yearly expenditure program.
“The people are now focused on the national government agencies. What about the LGUs? If you look at the [budgets] of LGUs, almost all of them have confidential funds,” Zubiri said, adding that the amounts involved “are very significant. You should also examine them.”
Stressing that there is also an allowable amount for POC funds for such purpose, Lacson said that for as long as it is within that limit, I see no problem with it.*