Rep. Bordado still reviewing petition vs 2024 national budget

Camarines Sur Rep. Bordado still reviewing petition vs 2024 national budget

/ 03:30 PM January 17, 2024

Camarines Sur Rep. Bordado still reviewing petition vs 2024 national budget

Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. delivers his manifestation on the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) during the regular plenary session late Tuesday afternoon (December 13, 2022) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. Bordado says that while sovereign wealth funds such as the MIF could be a good source of additional funds for the country, implementing it while the national debt has ballooned to P13.2 trillion and amid a high debt-to-gross national product ratio is bad timing. (Photo from Rep. Bordado’s office)

MANILA, Philippines — Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. has clarified that he is still reviewing the petition questioning the legality of the 2024 national budget due to the P449.4 billion unprogrammed fund hike, adding that he has not authorized the use of his signature.

Bordado, in a statement on Wednesday, clarified that a senior staffer sent his e-signature to Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman without his permission, leading the latter to believe that he is already fully supportive of the petition.


Lagman has been scrutinizing the 2024 General Appropriation Act (GAA) for supposedly going beyond the ceiling set by the National Expenditures Program (NEP), which is the P5.768 trillion prescribed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  It was reported on Tuesday that he filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC).


“I am definitely for upholding the Constitution, and I ask my fellow representatives to protect our Constitution at all times,” Bordado said.

“However, (I am) still reviewing the petition and wanted to raise key points, particularly on safeguarding the unprogrammed funds to ensure they benefit economic growth and do not derail the momentum of post-COVID recovery programs,” he added.

Three lawmakers signed the petition filed by Lagman — him, Bordado, and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman.

In the petition, the three maintained that increasing the unprogrammed funds by P449.4 billion meant that the annual budget passed by President Marcos went beyond the P5.768 trillion — an act that allegedly goes against the 1987 Constitution.

Lagman several times cited Article VI, Section 25 of the 1987 Constitution, which states that Congress “may not increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the government as specified in the budget.”

READ: Lagman questions legality of allocation from unprogrammed funds 

Nevertheless, Bordado reminded Congress, particularly the House, of its sworn duty to protect the Constitution.  According to him, it is correct to let the Supreme Court comment on the issue.


“As members of Congress, each one of us has a duty to preserve the integrity of the institution that we represent,” Bordado said.

“I agree in questioning the constitutional soundness of the additional unprogrammed funds. We should let the Supreme Court decide whether or not it is within the bounds of the Constitution,” he added.

Lagman and lawmakers aligned with the majority have already traded barbs over the issue. Earlier, the House Committee on Appropriations chairperson and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co claimed that Lagman should include himself as a respondent in his petition because the previous year’s budget also contained unprogrammed funds.

Lagman was part of the bicameral conference committee that finalized the 2023 national budget.

READ: Co says Lagman should be respondent of own petition vs 2024 national budget 

In reply, Lagman said that Co should instead address allegations they raised, instead of resorting to personal attacks.

“Appropriations Chairman Elizaldy Co engages in personal attacks instead of squarely confronting the constitutional issues on the questionable congressional allocation of an excess of P449,450,510,000 in unprogrammed appropriations over the President’s proposal of only P281,908.056,000,” Lagman said.

“In his response to the petition I filed before the Supreme Court challenging the infirm allocations, Co miserably failed to deny that the bicameral conference committee on the 2024 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) furtively inserted an excess of P449,450,510,000 in unprogrammed appropriations,” he claimed.

The increase in the unprogrammed funds for the 2024 budget was first revealed by Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel, who said that Malacañang’s original proposal of P281.9 billion was pumped to P731.4 billion, or a P450 billion increase.

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On Tuesday, Malacañang assured the public that they are ready to answer the petition filed by Lagman. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the other hand said that the unprogrammed fund hike does not push the budget ceiling because these are only standby funds.

TAGS: 2024 national budget, Camarines Sur

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