Press Release
September 6, 2016

Pimentel seeks amendment of Marcos era edict to support fiscal stability

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III wants to amend a Marcos era edict to direct payment of all revenues generated from energy development and exploitation program to the Bureau of Treasury instead of a Special Fund for the government's general use.

He filed Senate Bill No. 1110, proposing amendments to Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 910, S. 1976, "Creating an Energy Development Board, defining its powers and functions, providing funds, therefore, and for other purposes," to support the country's fiscal stability.

Pimentel said P. D. 910 provides the President with plenary powers to use the proceeds of the Special Fund for the purpose of financing government energy resource development and exploitation projects and for other similar purposes as may be determined by the Chief Executive.

The funds are collected by the Department of Energy from royalties and rentals and other fees on service contracts and other payments on the exploration, development, and exploitation of energy resources that are credited and booked under a special account of the Bureau of Treasury.

He said a big part of the Special Fund is the multi billion-peso Malampaya Fund, which is remitted from Shell Philippines Exploration, the private firm that operates the Malampaya natural gas platform in Palawan province.

The Fund, however, was dragged in controversies in the past, such as the P900 million allocation of the Department of Agrarian Reform that was allegedly siphoned off to finance bogus non-government organizations by pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles.

Pimentel also pointed out that the Fund merely sits in the coffers of the Bureau of Treasury, where it is waiting to be used by the government for a limited purpose, which is energy development.

He said the President's unqualified power to allocate funds for other purposes as the Chief Executive may deem proper, however, was effectively clipped by the Supreme Court in the case of Belgica vs. Executive Secretary.

The SC ruled as unconstitutional the phrase, "and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President" under Section 8 of P.D. 910, saying it violated the principle of non-delegability of legislative power.

Pimentel said the proposed measure intends to abolish the fund and direct instead the payment to the national treasury of such fees and revenues from existing energy development and exploitation programs, subject to the share of local government units, for the government's general use.

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