Measure seeks to allow Palace to ‘legally use’ budget savings

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AFTER the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), administration allies in the House of Representatives are planning to pass a measure, which will enable Malacanang to legally use government savings on other projects after the fiscal year.

Marikina City Representative Romero Quimbo said the proposed law will be based on the high court's ruling on DAP and will give a green light to the executive branch to use the remaining savings.

"Ide-define natin as instructed by the Supreme Court, so all in harmony hindi ito pagtaliwas, in fact this is now carrying out the decision of the Supreme Court. We need a better and clearer statement through that joint resolution," said Quimbo.

He said the measure will clearly define the meaning of "government savings" so that it can be used even before the end of the year,

Quimbo added that the proposed bill will also identify those "abandoned projects" where the funds were not totally used.

In its recent ruling on DAP, the SC stated that based on the General Appropriations Act, the savings must be used after the end of the year.

"Ang gagawin ng Kongreso, palitan yung definition ng savings para magamit ang pondong ito bago pa man matapos ang taon," Quimbo said.

He noted that the approve definition can be included for next year's proposed P2.606-trillion national budget.

"Palagay ko ito ang magbibigay daan para marespeto natin ang Korte Suprema at mabigyan natin 'yung pangangailangan ng Executive para makapag-mobilize ng savings as empowered by the Constitution," the lawmaker said.

In his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, President Benigno Aquino III asked Congress to resolve the conflicts of interpretation arising from the issue on the DAP through legislation.

But Kabataan Party-list Representative Terry Ridon warned of a possible constitutional crisis arising from Aquino's request for Congress to pass a joint resolution to clarify the definition of certain budgetary terms.

"The President is overtly asking Congress to legislate his version of the DAP story, in effect urging the Legislature to join forces with the Executive Branch in defying the third branch of government… [his] pronouncement may spark a constitutional crisis, and is a clear sign of his dictatorial tendencies," Ridon said. (Sunnex)

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