BUTUAN CITY – Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte has underscored the role of confidential funds in ensuring the country's security and development.
“In the pursuit of progress, it is imperative that we prioritize the well-being of our citizens and safeguard the peace and order that underpins our society," said Duterte, who spoke at the 122nd Police Service Anniversary celebration on Wednesday at the Police Regional Office in the Caraga Region (PRO-13) here.
She also reminded the police officers, personnel and other stakeholders during the gathering that security and development are the very essence of a thriving nation.
“Peace and order, along with education, must be protected at all costs. They are the cornerstones upon which a prosperous society is built,” Duterte said.
Leftist lawmakers have been haranguing Duterte on her use of confidential funds.
Nonetheless, Duterte argued confidential funds help the government ensure that “our people can go about their daily lives without fear and our children can receive an education in a safe environment, and our businesses can thrive without the shadow of insecurities.”
She added that the funds also provide the necessary resources for the government to address unforeseen challenges swiftly and decisively.
“Whether it is combating terrorism or safeguarding the integrity of our nation, these funds enable our law enforcement agencies and intelligence bodies, as well as other national government agencies, and the equally important local government units, to protect our citizens,” the Vice President explained.
Those who seek to compromise the security and development of the country, she added, also jeopardize the very fabric of the Philippine society.
The Vice President also urged the people of the Caraga Region to remain vigilant and steadfast in safeguarding the people and the nation.
“Those who are against confidential funds are against peace. Those who are against peace are enemies of the nation,” Duterte said in Filipino.
The OVP is asking for PHP500 million confidential funds and DepEd some PHP150 million to be spent in 2024 which the opposition, both in the House of Representatives and Senate, find unnecessary.
"Ang atong mga anak dapat maka eskwela nga dili ta mahadlok nga dunay magpahimulos nila. Dapat makapanigurado ta nga dunay ta mahatag nga pagkaon nga baon sa ilaha. Dapat makauli sila sa atong mga paninalay nga luwas ug malipayon (Our children should go to school without us worrying that they could be in danger. We should ensure that we can provide them with food. They must come back home safe and happy). This is a picture of national security. This is confidential funds," Duterte said.
She also noted the DepEd's membership in the Anti-Terrorist Council and the Office of the Secretary's membership in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict which exemplify the department's unwavering commitment to the protection and well-being of its learners, personnel, and other stakeholders. (With reports from Wilnard Bacelonia/PNA)