Lagman questions legality of allocation from unprogrammed funds

Lagman questions legality of allocation from unprogrammed funds

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 05:32 PM January 16, 2024

Lagman questions legality of allocation of unprogrammed funds


MANILA, Philippines — Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman petitioned before the Supreme Court the constitutionality of the P449.5-billion excess allocation in the unprogrammed appropriations in the 2024 national budget.

Lagman was referring to the additional  P449,540,510,000 allocated beyond the P289.1 billion proposed by the executive department for unprogrammed appropriations in the 2024 General Appropriations Act.


In the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed on Monday with fellow lawmakers Rep. Gabriel Bordado, Jr. and Rep. Mujiv Hataman., Lagman labeled the surplus allocation as “an unconstitutional act of the Congress which is tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of congressional jurisdiction, and perforce must be nullified.”


“It is indubitable that the excess of P449.5-B in unprogrammed appropriations is constitutionally infirm,” said Lagman.

“It is an expenditure outlay outside of the Constitution. It is akin to an outlaw which must be slain on sight,” he added.

According to Lagman, the Congress is prohibited from increasing the proposed ceiling of only P281,908,056,000 for unprogrammed appropriation under Sec. 25 (1) of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

But Lagman claimed that the “furtive” excess appropriation was “premeditated” by the leadership of the House Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Rep. Elizaldy Co.

“[The] P449.5-B furtive appropriations and their probable release for implementation were premeditated by the leadership of the Committee on Appropriations chaired by respondent Co who recommended the Plenary approval of House Bill No. 9513 entitled, ‘An Act Providing Additional Criterion for the Availment of Unprogrammed Appropriations, amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 11963 or the 2023 General Appropriations Act,’” said Lagman.

With this, the petitioners have urged the Supreme Court to issue either a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction upon the submission of the petition.


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

This would effectively prohibit the respondents from funding, releasing, and implementing the constitutionally questionable surplus appropriation of P449.5 billion, exceeding the President’s proposed P289.1 billion in unprogrammed appropriations.

They also asked the SC to render a decision after due proceedings nullifying the challenged excess of P449.5-B appropriations, as well as to issue a Writ of Prohibition directed to any and all respondents and all other public functionaries acting on their behalf, permanently prohibiting them from funding, releasing, and implementing the excess items of expenditure consisting of P449.5-B.

READ: Rep. Edcel Lagman questions constitutionality of 2024 national budget

The P5.768 trillion 2024 national budget was signed and approved by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on December 20, 2023.

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Despite several lawmakers bringing attention to the said excess funding for the unprogrammed appropriations, Marcos only vetoed two provisions in the 2024 budget: the revolving fund of the Department of Justice and the implementation of the Career Executive Service Development Program.

TAGS: budget, Edcel Lagman, Supreme Court

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