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Lawmaker warns colleagues on passing unfunded 'Bayanihan 3'
RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News
MANILA - House Deputy Speaker Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab warned proponents of the proposed Bayanihan 3 bill that it needs to have a certificate of actual cash availability or else it may go the way of other unfunded laws that Congress has passed.
Ungab was a former Appropriations Committee Chair in the 18th and 16th Congresses. He is a member of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago chaired by Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio.
In his manifestation during the period of interpellation for the Bayanihan 3 bill Monday night, Ungab reminded his colleagues that unless there is a well-defined source of revenue, as provided under Section 25 (item 4) of the Constitution, the implementation of the Bayanihan 3 "ayuda"will not reach the hands of the Filipino people at the time they needed it the most.
Ungab explained where the funding could come from.
"What I would like to emphasize here is that in the Bayanihan 3, one of the proposed sources of funds under Section 32 is the increased share in dividend collection from GOCCs’ annual net earnings, as this may be done because of the flexibility clause of RA 7656, which requires GOCCs to remit at least 50% of their annual net earnings to the National Government. The percentage of annual net earnings, with respect thereto, may be adjusted by the President, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Finance. In the latest IRR of RA 7656 dated 2016, it is noted that if there is an upward adjustment, it is only the DOF Secretary, in coordination with the DBM and the GCG, who will request the GOCC to remit above 50%, while a downward adjustment requires the approval of the President, upon the recommendation of the DOF Secretary," he said.
“Mr. Speaker, it is my view that any excess or upward adjustment in dividend remittances should be covered with a certificate of actual availability of funds. For this is considered under excess revenue, and when we say excess revenue it falls under category of funds, which are actually available," he added.
For Ungab, excess revenues may be used to fund a special appropriations bill in case there are no available funds.
"It is clear from the provision that the Constitution allows for two sources of funds for a special appropriations bill, as indicated by the use of a comma (,) in between “funds actually available and corresponding revenue proposal”. Thus, either a new revenue source, from a corresponding revenue proposal , or funds actually available, may fund the proposed supplemental appropriations. In the case of the latter, that is, “funds actually available”, this may pertain to sources of funds other than new revenue proposal, for as long as this is actually available. Thus, excess revenues easily fall under the category of funds actually available. The intent of the framers of the Constitution is to ensure that there are actual funds to support the measure.”