Press Release
November 22, 2013

Drilon: Senate to guard 2014 budget against unconstitutional provisions

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon assured today that all provisions in the 2014 General Appropriations Bill will be closely scrutinized to ensure that they are consistent with the latest decision of the Supreme Court on the unconstitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

"I will see to it that all provisions in the 2014 national budget that are inconsistent with the Supreme Court decision are stricken down," said Drilon.

The proposed P2.268-trillion national budget is currently being heard in the Senate plenary.

For instance, Drilon cited special provision 2 of the budget of the Department of Education where a consultation with the representative of the legislative district concerned should be held prior to the implementation of its school building program.

Drilon likewise identified a special provision relating to the use, allocation and release of LGU shares in the excise tax of locally manufactured virginia type-cigarettes which contains a similar provision "in consultation with the representatives of the congressional districts of the province," a phrase that may not be in conformity with the SC ruling.

Such provisions, according to the Senate chief, may be construed as legislators' post enactment participation in the budget execution, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional.

"The constitution empowers the Congress to craft and approve and appropriate public funds, but the matter of execution of the budget is within the power of the executive," said Drilon.

He added: "the identification and recommendation of projects and programs must be performed by legislators during the budget enactment period. After the budget is passed, the congressmen and senators' participation should be limited to their oversight functions." ###


1. Special Provision 2 of the DepEd's budget states that "within thirty (30) days from effectively of this Act, the DepEd, in consultation with the representative of the legislative district concerned, shall submit to the DBM, either in printed form or by way of electronic document the following: (i) program of work; (ii) list of the fifty percent (50%) of the school buildings to be funded per legislative district, including the water and sanitation facilities, indicating therein the number of classrooms per school, the cost of the project and the DPWH District Engineering Officer where the funds will be released; (iii) details on the type, number and cost of school desks, furniture and fixtures corresponding to the school building to be constructed; and (iv) the request for Special Budget. The list of the remaining fifty percent (50%) of the school buildings shall be submitted to the DBM within six (6) months thereafter.

2. Special Provision, 3 (c), Special Shares of Local Government Units in the Proceeds of National Taxes states that: "Thirty percent (30%) to the identified municipalities and cities in the congressional districts of a beneficiary province in consultation with the representatives of the congressional districts of the province."

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