SC urged to nullify proposed 2015 budget
MANILA, Philippines–Former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr. asked the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the proposed P2.6 trillion national budget for 2015.
In a 15-page petition for certiorari, Syjuco told the high court that next year’s budget contained funds similar to the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which were already declared illegal.
Syjuco said the 2015 National Expenditure Program contained “lump sum” funds which included the President’s special purpose funds worth P501.67 billion or about 29 percent of the proposed appropriations.
Also included in the 2015 proposed budget is the P20.9 billion in grassroots participatory budgeting which is a “DAP clone and campaign kitty” of the administration’s Liberal Party, Syjuco said.
“The Supreme Court should declare the creation, formulation, submission and approval of the National Expenditure Program for 2015 and the 2015 General Appropriations Bill as unconstitutional and illegal,” Syjuco said in his petition.
He also urged the high court to stop Congress from passing into law the 2015 budget.
Syjuco said there was a great possibility that the DAP or a similar mechanism would re-emerge as he questioned the P251 billion in estimated savings this year.
The amount, he explained, is greater than the entire amount allocated to the DAP to fund some 116 various projects.
“With such huge savings targeted by the national government, the re-emergence of DAP or another DAP-like mechanism in the near future will certainly need to occur,” he said.
Syjuco also said that by redefining savings, the Aquino administration was trying to circumvent the court’s ruling against cross-border transfer of funds to augment the budget of different agencies outside the executive branch.
He said the present administration was trying to go around the Supreme Court decision declaring DAP unconstitutional by giving the DAP a new party dress for its “camouflaged implementation.”
The high court, in its July decision that declared DAP unconstitutional, ruled that the cross-border transfer of funds was illegal.
Prior to Syjuco’s petition, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago also criticized the 2015 budget for its new definition of government savings and for still containing pork barrel or lump sum allocations which can be spent at the discretion of lawmakers.
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