MANILA - Senate finance committee chair Francis Escudero noted that some provisions and the definition of savings in the proposed 2015 budget contradict the ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
Escudero said he plans to question the economic managers about this during the upcoming budget deliberation, saying he wants to ensure that the budget is compliant with the SC ruling.
The Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) is set to brief the Senate on the National Expenditure Program (NEP) on August 19.
“Inaayos pa namin ‘yan sa budget para maging compliant. Binasa ko na nang ilang ulit ang desisyon ng Korte at sinusubukan namin maging compliant ang budget ng 2015 dahil base sa unang pagbasa ko ng budget, tila may nilalabag na probisyon doon sa budget sa Supreme Court decision on DAP na kailagan naming i-adjust at gawing compliant,” Escudero said.
He added that projects cannot be stopped mid-year and transfer savings for another use.
“Halimbawa, nasa definition ng proposed budget na ‘yung savings, pwedeng kasama ‘yung stoppage. Maliwanag ang sinabi ng Korte na ‘yung validity ng appropriation ay for one year. Hindi mo pwedeng sabihin kalahati pa lang ng taon ay hindi mo na ire-release ‘yan dahil available ang appropriation, according to Congress for one year. So you have to wait for that year na mabigyan ng tsansa ma-implement ang project kaysa kalahati pa lang ng taon, pinipigilan mo nang i-implement.”
Escudero also intends to ask officials to itemize lump sums such as contingency funds and the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund (MPBF).