Lawmaker bats for bigger witness protection budget


A LAWMAKER on Sunday said a bigger budget for the government’s witness protection program is needed to allow more witnesses to work with law enforcement agencies without fear of economic dislocation.   

“The Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Program (WPSBP) seems to be working well, but we have to support the program with greater funding so it can extend highly improved financial, relocation, and livelihood assistance to witnesses,” Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny T. Pimentel said in a statement.    

He did not specify the amount for proposed additional budget.   

The WPSBP allocated P238 million under the Department of Justice’s proposed 2023 budget of P28.19 billion, which is 11.7% higher than this year.   

“We also want the WPSBP to establish additional safehouses to accommodate witnesses, and if necessary, to allow them to stay together with their families,” the congressman said, noting that the program currently has 48 such facilities around the country. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo

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