DBM says unprogrammed funds in 2024 budget constitutional

DBM maintains unprogrammed funds in 2024 national budget constitutional

/ 11:37 AM January 17, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reiterated that the additional unprogrammed funds in the P5.768 trillion national budget 2024 are constitutional.

This comes in response to the Supreme Court petition filed by Albay First Representative Edcel Lagman on Tuesday, questioning the constitutionality of the allegedly unauthorized increase of P449.5 billion allocation in the unprogrammed appropriations in this year’s national budget.


READ: Lagman questions legality of allocation from unprogrammed funds

“Kung may magpadala sa Supreme Court, we welcome it. Kasi, from our end, it’s constitutional,” Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said at Kapihan sa Manila Bay.


(If someone petitions at the Supreme Court, we welcome it. Because from our end, it’s constitutional.)

Pangandaman stressed that the excess funds are “standby allocations,” which may only be released when specific “triggers” are met.

“In our definition hindi po siya unconstitutional. Kasi nga po hindi siya kasama sa talagang budget. Mangyayari lang po siya kapag may certain triggers na mangyayari. Iyan po yung understanding namin,” she explained.

(In our definition, it’s not unconstitutional. Because it is not included in the actual budget, it will only be released if specific triggers are met. That’s our understanding.)

The Budget Secretary said such triggers may include an extra or excess revenue source and a certification from the Bureau of Treasury.

She further explained that unprogrammed appropriations are called “unprogrammed” because they are funds whose source of revenue is yet to be determined by the Department of Finance.


“So when we compute the budget at kapag inilatag natin sa kongreso, ito pong part ng program, hindi po talaga siya kasama,” Pangandaman clarified.

(So when we compute the budget and present it to Congress, this part of the program is not included.)

“We will just provide whatever data and information that we have at DBM…and the National Treasury when the right time comes,” she added.

But Lagman, in his petition, claimed that 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.

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This year’s unprogrammed appropriations is P731.4 billion – an increase of over P449 billion from the proposed P281.9 billion.

TAGS: 2024 national budget, DBM

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