Bill amending 2023 GAA regarding unprogrammed funds OK’d on final reading
MANILA, Philippines — A bill that seeks to amend Republic Act No. 11936 or the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA) by providing additional criteria in terms of availing unprogrammed funds has been approved by the House of Representatives on the third and final reading.
House Bill (HB) No. 9153, authored by the House Committee on Ways and Means chairperson and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, was approved with 229 lawmakers voting in the affirmative, four in the negative, and two abstentions.
If enacted, an additional item under the 2023 GAA’s Section 1 of Special Provisions would be placed that would determine when the government can use its unprogrammed funds or appropriations that are not funded yet and may only be released when government revenue exceeds targets.
Section 1 of the Special Provisions would now have an additional item stating that the unprogrammed funds authorized by R.A. No. 11936 may be used when “funds of government-owned or -controlled corporations determined to be in excess of their current administrative and operational expenses, benefit obligations, or reserve requirements.”
The bill was sponsored by Salceda and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co, as the measure also involves appropriations.
Co is the chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations.
According to Salceda’s explanatory note, passing the bill is important in ensuring that idle funds of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) are tapped and used for urgent services.
“In order to maximize the idle funds of the GOCCs and further help the national government, this bill proposes that the same be used to fund the unprogrammed appropriations. The funds of GOCCs determined to be in excess of their current administrative and operational expenses, benefit obligations, or reserve requirements may be used to implement the vital purposes under the unprogrammed appropriations,” Salceda said.
“It is an accepted fact that certain government corporations have funds far exceeding their current administrative and operational expenses, benefit obligations, and/or reserve requirements. These funds lie idle in the banks or are invested in time deposits and other securities with other government and non-government financial institutions and results in the inefficient use of national government resources,” he added.