Based on the recently released yearly report for 2017 of the Commission on Audit (COA) of the reactionary government, the funds allotted in the “confidential, intelligence, and extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses” increased more than double in 2017 from 2016.
This allocation is also called “black budget” because despite being public funds, the offices and agencies using the money are not obliged to submit reports of its spending.
According to the report, the budget ballooned to P8.98 billion in 2017 from P4.44 billion in 2016, a 101.78% increase, and was used in “confidential and intelligence expenses.”
Almost three-fourths (3/4) of the fund was used by the three primary institutions of the reactionary governmentthe Office of the President (OP), which spent P2.515 billion; the Department of National Defense (DND), spending P2.22 billion; and the Congress using P1.797 billion.
On paper, the funds are used for intelligence operations but more than this, it serves as personal kitty for the president and military officials to spend it on their discretion.
Based on data from the Department of Budget and Management from 2016-2018, Duterte has spent P16.45 billion of the secret and intelligence funds. This is 92% more than the entire expenses of the Aquino regime from 2010-2015.
This 2018, the budget for intelligence has reached P8.08 billion, four times more compared to the P1.58 billion allocation starting 2016. In 2019, the budget is at P6.28 billion.
The Office of the President’s black budget is the largest. At the beginning of Duterte’s term, it had a P500 million black budget. This 2018, it ballooned to P2.5 billion. The funds’ use are directly approved by the president and he is the only one who receives a report on how the money is spent.
Because of the secretive nature of the budget, this multi-billion funding is open for abuse. In fact, one of the cases filed against former president and current House Speaker Gloria Arroyo is the misuse of P325 million black budget under the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in the last three years of her term.
Several reports have shown that funding for internet trolls and fake news fabricators are from this hidden part of the regime’s budget.
In a report by Oxford Internet Institute, there are 400-500 personnel of the regime who are full-time manufacturers of fake social accounts and fake news and the individual contracts they acquire from the reactionary government costs not less than P10.5 million each. Several experts are claiming that its funding comes from the black budget.
The use and existence of the black budget is a direct influence of the imperialist US. In the US, allotment of billions of funds for secret spending is always under debate.
Included in the known usage of US’ black budget are espionage, and other activities against other countries, manufacturing of new armaments and bombs, and recently, “astroturfing” or funding of troll accounts in social media and other ways to control public opinion, which they consider as part of “offensive cyberoperations.” In reality, the US is spreading these cyberoperations by training experts under its military exercises in semicolonies including the Philippines. The black budget is also the source of funds for developing various forms of torture.