House think tank finds out ₧125.1B needed to im­ple­ment un­funded laws

Business Mirror - - BM REPORTS - By Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz

THE Con­gres­sional Pol­icy and Bud­get Re­search Depart­ment (CPBRD) of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives said the fund­ing de­fi­ciency for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of laws en­acted from 1991 to 2015 has reached P125.1 bil­lion as of Oc­to­ber 2015.

The lower cham­ber’s think tank, cit­ing the Depart­ment of Bud­get and Man­age­ment’s Fis­cal Plan­ning and Re­forms Bureau, also said out of the P367.3 bil­lion to­tal quan­tifi­able fund­ing re­quire­ments, only 66 per­cent, or P242.2 bil­lion, had been al­lo­cated so far.

“The eco­nomic ser­vices sec­tor had the high­est fund­ing de­fi­ciency of P79 bil­lion, or 63.1 per­cent; fol­lowed by de­fense at P20.3 bil­lion, or 16.2 per­cent; and so­cial ser­vices at P15.5 bil­lion, or 12.4 per­cent,” said the CPBRD. The re­search body said al­most 90 per­cent of the P125.1-bil­lion, fund­ing de­fi­ciency per­tained to the fol­low­ing: the Com­pre­hen­sive Agrar­ian Re­form Pro­gram at P37.4 bil­lion; Armed Forces of the Philip­pines Mod­ern­iza­tion Pro­gram of 2012 at P20.3 bil­lion; Na­tional Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion Re­form Act of 2013 at P20 bil­lion; Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity Act of 2008 at P13.8 bil­lion; Com­pre­hen­sive and In­te­grated Shel­ter Fi­nanc­ing Act of 1994 at P11 bil­lion; and pay­ment to or claims of vic­tims of hu­man-rights vi­o­la­tion dur­ing the Mar­cos regime at P9.9 bil­lion.

By sub­sec­tor, un­der the eco­nomic ser­vices, the CPBRD said Agri­cul­tural/Agrar­ian posted the high­est de­fi­ciency at P40.2 bil­lion, or 51 per­cent, out of P70 bil­lion. It added laws with fund­ing de­fi­cien­cies un­der the Agri/Agra are the Com­pre­hen­sive Agrar­ian Re­form Pro­gram (P37.4 bil­lion); the Philip­pine Fish­eries Code (P1.5 bil­lion); Na­tional Dairy Act (P1.1 bil­lion); and the Sug­ar­cane In­dus­try Act (P206 mil­lion).

The P20 bil­lion fund­ing de­fi­ciency in the en­ergy sub­sec­tor un­der the eco­nomic ser­vices per­tained to the Na­tional Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Re­pub­lic Act 10531), the CPBRD said.

Mean­while, it also said the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity Act of 2008, which is un­der the in­fra­struc­ture/ trans­porta­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sub­sec­tor, had a fund­ing de­fi­ciency of P13.8 bil­lion as of Oc­to­ber 2015. Other laws with fund­ing de­fi­cien­cies were Peo­ple’s De­vel­op­ment Trust Fund (P4.4 bil­lion); Re­vi­tal­iz­ing the Peo­ple’s Tele­vi­sion Net­work (P3.3 bil­lion); Philip­pine Fish­eries Code of 1998 (P1.5 bil­lion); Freeport Area of Bataan (P1.4 bil­lion); Na­tional Dairy De­vel­op­ment Act ( P1.1 bil­lion); Bureau of Corrections Mod­ern­iza­tion (P382.5 mil­lion); Sugar In­dus­try Act (P206.2 mil­lion); Dagupan Fish­port (P140 mil­lion); Na­tional Pri­vacy Com­mis­sion (P70 mil­lion); Min­danao Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (P50 mil­lion); and Cy­ber­crime Act (P24.6 mil­lion); ac­cord­ing to the re­search body.

Speaker Feli­ciano Bel­monte Jr. said the lower cham­ber hopes to pass the Fis­cal Re­spon­si­bil­ity Bill to ad­dress the prob­lem on un­funded laws be­fore the 16th Congress goes on a break on Fe­bru­ary 6 to May 22 for the 2016 na­tional and lo­cal elec­tions. He said the mea­sure is among the pri­or­ity bills pro­posed by the Palace, House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Se­nate, to con­trol the pro­lif­er­a­tion of un­funded laws.

“Among its pro­vi­sions is that no ex­pen­di­ture mea­sure shall be passed and take ef­fect with­out a new rev­enue gen­er­a­tion or ex­pen­di­ture-re­duc­tion mea­sure. The bill is pend­ing at the com­mit­tee level,” Bel­monte said. For his part, Na­tion­al­ist Peo­ple’s Coali­tion Rep. Sher­win Gatchalian of Valen­zuela said the lead­er­ship of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Se­nate should find out why th­ese laws are un­funded, and what are the reper­cus­sions of un­funded laws.

“We have to find out one by one why th­ese laws are un­funded and what are the reper­cus­sions of th­ese un­funded laws. For me, un­funded laws are tan­ta­mount to use­less pieces of pa­per. We have to ei­ther re­peal the law or amend it.

We have to find out first what will be the im­pact,” Gatchalian said. “Un­funded laws de­prive the Filipino peo­ple of ser­vices and pro­grams that can be help­ful to our lives,” he added. For his part, Party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz of Abakada said “the govern­ment should re­view all of th­ese laws to de­ter­mine du­pli­ca­tions, if any.” Party-list Rep. Sher­win Tugna of Cit­i­zens’ Bat­tle Against Cor­rup­tion said fur­ther re­search on th­ese un­funded laws is needed.

“That way, we will be able to de­ter­mine what laws should be pri­or­i­tized for fund­ing, es­pe­cially those that are for spe­cial ser­vices,” Tugna added.

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