Press Release
February 14, 2006


Ignorance of the law excuses no one, and Gloria Arroyo should not use the Senate as her excuse for failing to grant government employees the pay hikes she repeatedly promised them.

On this note, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday that Mrs. Arroyo should take another look at the 1987 Constitution's provision that no salary hike can be declared without sources of available funds, or without a corresponding revenue measure.

"Under Sec. 25, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution, a special appropriations bill must be supported by funds 'actually available as certified by the National Treasurer, or to be raised by a corresponding revenue proposal therein.' National Treasurer Omar Cruz has certified that there are no funds actually available for the purpose, and Mrs. Arroyo has not pushed for a corresponding revenue proposal," said Lacson, who chairs the Senate committee on civil service and government reorganization.

Besides, he questioned Mrs. Arroyo's pushing for the passage of the supplemental budget providing for the pay hike, when the main proposed national budget has not even been passed yet.

"Why certify as urgent a supplemental budget when the main budget is not yet passed? The budget is still being deliberated in the Lower House and the Senate is still conducting hearings on it. So why put the cart before the horse?" he said.

Thus, he said attempts by Mrs. Arroyo to blame the Senate for her failure to increase government workers' pay amounts to yet another case of buck-passing.

Citing information reaching him, Lacson said Malacañang is planning to pin the blame on the Senate for its failure to pass a measure increasing the pay of government workers.

"Mrs. Arroyo should remember that without available funds or a corresponding revenue proposal, her so-called measure for the pay hike of government workers is unconstitutional," Lacson said.

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