Palace to review 2024 budget for insertions | Inquirer News

Palace to review 2024 budget for insertions

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 05:42 AM December 17, 2023

Palace to review 2024 budget for insertions

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Photo from the Facebook page of the Presidential Communications Office)

MANILA, Philippines — A day after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he would sign the national budget for next year before Christmas Day, Malacañang on Saturday assured the public it would scrutinize the national budget for 2024 passed by Congress once it receives a copy of the measure.

“It will undergo review once [the Office of the President] receives a copy of the bill,” Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said in a Viber message to the Inquirer.


As of Saturday afternoon, Garafil said Malacañang has not received a copy of the ratified Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the national budget for 2024.


On Thursday, former Sen. Panfilo Lacson urged the President to veto the P731.4 billion “unprogrammed appropriations” in the proposed 2024 budget, saying these were unconstitutional.

Lacson made the call after Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III revealed that the unprogrammed funds in the 2024 national budget increased to P731.4 billion from the original P281.9 after the bicameral conference committee meetings on the P5.768-trillion General Appropriation Bill (GAB) for 2024.

This resulted in a P449.5-billion increase in the unprogrammed funds, according to Pimentel.

With the bloated unprogrammed funds, Pimentel pointed out that the national budget for 2024 would be more than P6 trillion, not just P5.77 trillion.

READ: Gov’t gears for SC suit vs 2024 budget

READ: DBM: 2024 budget’s unprogrammed funds are just ‘standby appropriations’

‘Line-item veto’

Lacson said Marcos “should line-item veto the unconstitutional provisions because line-item vetos for appropriations and tax measures [are] allowed by the Constitution.”

“Senator Koko is right that the legislature cannot increase the NEP (National Expenditure Program). Items can be reduced or realigned from one agency to another but the Constitution prohibits adding to the so-called President’s budget,” Lacson said.


‘I don’t see any problem’

In an ambush interview on Friday in Muntinlupa City, Mr. Marcos said he would sign the budget before Christmas, “the minute it is finalized.”

“We have been going through the consultations through the whole of the year for that matter and I would be very surprised if there are other issues that will suddenly arise that we hadn’t anticipated or hadn’t resolved, put it that way. So, I don’t see any problem to that,” he said.

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The president is in Tokyo, Japan, for the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Japan relations but will return to the country on Dec. 18.

TAGS: 2024 national budget, budget insertions

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