Solons find use for superfluous P715M SC budget | Inquirer News

Solons find use for superfluous P715M SC budget

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 07:00 AM December 11, 2014
House of Representatives, Congress

AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Resourceful members of Congress have somehow managed to find somewhere to spend a now superfluous P715-million item allocated for the Supreme Court’s automation projects in the P22.46-billion supplemental budget for 2014 that is awaiting approval at the House of Representatives.

According to Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, the chair of the House appropriations committee, since the Senate had already incorporated the P715 million in additional funding for the judiciary’s Enterprise Information System Plan in the P2.606 trillion budget for 2015, the P715 earlier earmarked for the same project had been realigned into two items in the supplemental budget.

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Some P53 million is to be put into payments for the contractual obligations of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) infrastructure projects, while P663 million will be used for emergency housing for victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

Ungab said this was approved by the bicameral conference committee that approved the reconciled version of the supplemental budget last Wednesday.

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The supplemental budget will be presented to the plenary either today or Friday, Ungab said.

The P715 million in additional funding for the judiciary was promised by President Aquino at an anticorruption conference earlier this month, prompting Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to include the fresh allocation in the supplemental budget for 2014 that the Department of Budget and Management has proposed to Congress.

It was deemed a turnaround for the President, who earlier this year accused the high tribunal of judicial overreach after it nullified his economic stimulus program, the Disbursement Acceleration Program, for unconstitutional practices last July.

The appropriations committee on Tuesday approved the proposed P22.46-billion supplemental budget for 2014 after a seven-hour hearing attended by lawmakers and various government officials led by Abad.

The realignment of the Supreme Court additional fund was the only amendment approved by the body.

Abad earlier said he intended to insert more amendments into the proposal after his department found additional revenue sources from government corporation dividends and bonds.

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TAGS: automation project, budget, Congress, superfluous item, Supreme Court
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