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  Home > Philippines

Duterte vetoes 4 budget provisions

NO TO ‘RIDER PROVISIONS’– President Duterte vetoed four “rider provisions” eight days after he signed the budget bill and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act. ( Aaron Favila/AP)


 December 28th, 2017  |  09:33 AM  |   1552 views



President Duterte has vetoed four provisions in the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) or the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2018.


Duterte’s veto message on the GAA was sent to Congress Wednesday, eight days after he signed the GAA and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.


He referred to the four provisions as “rider provisions” and must be subject to direct veto.


“Provisions embraced in this Budget which do not relate to some particular appropriation and are introduced herein with the purpose of amending existing laws and rules have no place in the general appropriations bill,” Duterte’s veto message read.


One of the provisions Duterte vetoed is the “Monitoring Expenses of Board Members” of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).


“Under the Salary Standardization Law and its implementing rules, board members are already authorized to receive honoraria or per diems in the performance of their official functions,” the veto message stated.


It said that other necessary expenses incurred in the conduct of monitoring and evaluation by the MTRCB may be allowed, subject to budgeting, accounting, and auditing laws, rules, and regulations.


Collection of fees


The second provision Duterte vetoed is Section 87 of the GAA or the, “Collection of Fees in Relation to the Retention or Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship,” which prohibits the imposition and collections of fees.


The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has been implementing the collection of fees for the retention or reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. As of March 2014, the application fee alone is priced at P2,500, based on the BI website.


The veto message stated that government agencies cannot be deprived of their inherent authority to assess reasonable fees in the provision of services.


Duterte also cited Executive Order (EO) No. 292 series of 1987 which empowers the heads of agencies to update their rates of fees and charges to recover the costs of rendered services.


Third provision


Duterte cited the same reason when he decided to veto the Office of the Education Secretary’s Special Provision No. 14 or the, “Use of School Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses for Payment of Items That May Be Classified as Capital Outlay.”


He said the provision authorizes the Department of Education (DepEd) to use appropriations for Maintenance and Other Operating Requirements (MMOE) for its Capital Outlay Requirements.


But despite of the agencies’ inherent right, Duterte said any modification in their budget shall first comply with the requirements provided under the General Provisions of the GAA.


Fourth provision


Duterte also vetoed the “Use of Income” of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). This special provision aims to augment the operational requirements of the ERC.


“Apart from being a rider, the sources of income enumerated have already been included in the Non-Tax Revenue Program for Fiscal Year 2018, thereby resulting in double programming for the said income sources,” the veto message read.


“The ERC should instead make efficient use of its budget and automatic appropriations in the amount of P413.60 million,” it said.


Double programming


However, Duterte said the implementation of some provisions in the GAA is subject to conditional implementation to ensure the “consistent and faithful execution” of existing laws and policies.


Among the provisions up for conditional implementation is the “Use of Income” of the Department of Science and Technology-Office of the Secretary (DOST-OSEC); and the “Collections for Drug Rehabilitation Activities” of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).


The veto message stated that the said provisions were considered as double programming. Double programming refers to the use of income that is already part of the funding sources of the GAA.


Double programming also reduces the revenue sources of the GAA and unjustifiably increases the appropriations of the said agencies.


“The creation of a revolving fund for the Research and Development Institutes of the DOST and the use of collections by the DDB are therefore subject to generation of income and collections in excess of those forming part of the revenue sources programmed for the FY 2018 GAA,” the message read.




by Argyll Cyrus Geducos


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