MANILA -- Makabayan bloc lawmakers have introduced a bill seeking to repeal the President's discretionary power over the Malampaya funds and subject it to congressional appropriations.
House Bill 2993 was introduced by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate, Gabriela Women's Party Rep. Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus, ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio, Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap, and Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon.
It is an act amending Presidential Decree No. 910, creating an energy development board and mandating the transfer of the Malampaya funds to the general fund subject to congressional appropriation.
The explanatory note says the Malampaya fund is a lump sum amount in a special account, the disbursement of which is subject solely to the President's discretion, which makes its disbursements very vulnerable to corruption and patronage politics.
The object of this House Bill will touch on the government's misuse and abuse of the revenues collected from this contentious and highly profitable Malampaya contract, which misuse and abuse principally spring from the unfettered presidential discretion over the funds.
Presidential Decree No. 910 promulgated during the Marcos regime authorizes the use of the funds not only to finance energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects, but also for such other purposes as may be directed by the President.