Civil society group weighs in on confi/intel funds

Civil society group weighs in on confi/intel funds

/ 05:11 AM October 27, 2023

From a citizens’ group, Wag Kang KuCorrupt Movement, is a statement that any Filipino may sign to register their agreement to its content and purpose. The statement sums up the sentiments of many on the controversial confidential and intelligence funds that elected officials in high places have availed of in the past and are again seeking to be included in the national budget in care of their offices/departments. But note—without being subjected to auditing, and therefore taxpayers need never know how they had been spent or would be spent.

The Wag Kang KuCorrupt Movement describes itself as “a group of concerned citizens who have come together to launch a public movement against corruption in government, focused primarily on calling for the abolition of confidential funds.” The movement’s name is a play on words and translates into English as “don’t blink” (“blink” in Filipino is “kurap”) or be watchful and vigilant, but the name also means “don’t be corrupt.” Double entendre there.

To sign, go to the Wag Kang KuCorrupt Movement’s Facebook page. Or go to Here is the statement in English. There is also a Filipino version.


“Confidential funds have no place in a country mired in poverty due to sky-high prices of consumer goods, record government debt, and low wages. They are especially outrageous because of the lack of clarity on their purpose and lack of transparency on their use and audit.


“This is an injustice to the common Filipino people who work tirelessly every day and contribute a considerable portion of their salaries to the coffers of the government. Confidential funds are not a key to progress at all.

“The proposed total budget for confidential and intelligence funds for 2024 is more than ten billion pesos (P10 billion). This amount can be used for more important and urgent purposes that would truly benefit the people especially the poor. This amount is enough to construct over 4,000 new classrooms, hand out over 5,000,000 sacks of rice, or build 20,000 houses.

“Confidential funds are worse than the pork barrel—taxpayers’ money that was abused and misused by corrupt government officials. These funds and intelligence funds do not have strict accounting processes and users do not need to follow the procurement law. All that is required is a piece of paper signed by the head of the agency. No receipts, no details, no explanations needed.

“The ‘Wag Kang KuCorrupt Movement has three calls.

“First: Abolish Confidential Funds. Civilian government agencies do not need them to fulfill their mandates. Neither do local government units. The intelligence funds are enough for the military and uniformed personnel to support their needs for national security and peace and order.

“Second: The Commission on Audit should release to the public all documents related to confidential funds, especially those of the President and the Vice President. It should also do a follow-through audit to get details of the programs and projects for which the funds were used.


“Third: Congress should create a law that will clearly define the proper use of intelligence funds. The law should include a detailed system for accounting and audit. It should also create an Oversight Committee that will ensure that the funds are used correctly and accounted for. The law should also impose sanctions and penalties on those who will misuse and abuse the funds.

“It is crucial that every centavo of the people’s hard-earned money goes to honest public service. No secrets, nothing hidden, nothing stolen.

“At this time when the country is buried in poverty, everyone should stand against corruption. #WagKangKuCorrupt!”

Many Filipinos now simply say “confi” to mean confidential. This shows that the controversial confidential funds have high recall or usage among irate citizens, like “unli” for unlimited rice, phone loads, and greed. On social media, jokes, memes, puns, and taunting emojis cascade on those who think they are entitled to confi funds, better for them if unli.

If you can’t beat it, ridicule it, make fun of it—is a Filipino trait that could border on suicidal, especially if the object of ridicule is onion-skinned, over-sensitive, or “pikon.” But as a Filipino saying goes,“Ang pikon, talo.” That one is difficult to translate, but let me try: “The over-sensitive is a default loser” and, if I may add, fair game. Yes, fair game, so bring it on!

The second call above might seem contradictory, an oxymoron to those who feel entitled to unli confi. Those with an inordinate fetish for confi funds would argue that the funds are no longer confi if these are subject to auditing and reporting. Precisely. You cannot have confi funds and hide it too, you cannot have your cake and eat it too, a saying best thrown at those who want double entitlement. “Ano ka?! (What are you?!),” a Filipino interjection loaded with so many meanings and crying out to be followed by unprintables.


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TAGS: confidential fund, confidential funds, intel fund, intelligence, movement, opinion

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