Government needs P187.1 billion to implement 184 laws

Published by rudy Date posted on October 10, 2011

MANILA, Philippines –  The government needs P187.1 billion or about 10 percent of the proposed P1.8 trillion national budget for 2012 to implement 184 laws passed by Congress since 1991, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said in a report to the House of Representatives.

The unfunded or partially-funded laws were passed from 1991 to December 2010 and most of them are local legislation.

Budget Undersecretary Laura Pascua, in a report to the House, said the bulk of the funding deficiency was for Republic Act 9700 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extending the Acquisition and Distribution of Agricultural Lands, which needs P112.6 billion to implement.

The other laws are Republic Act 9497 or the Restructuring of the Civil Aviation System, which requires P49.2 billion; Republic Act 7835 or Providing Low Cost Housing for the Poor and Low-Income Workers (P12.4 billion); and Republic Act 8425 or the Assistance for Capability-Building Activities of the Microfinance Institutions in the Country (4.4 billion).

“We will first have to review if there are any bills of real national significance,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said in a text message when asked how Congress intends to address the situation.

The Aquino administration is pushing for the approval of a fiscal responsibility bill that would identify a revenue source for every measure passed, especially those that require the spending of government money.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima earlier said without such a law, the government’s debt will continue to grow.

He said if there is a revenue source for every bill that has an expenditure component, the measure becomes “revenue neutral,” or would not affect either way the government’s fiscal position.

Pascua’s report, released by House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap, said in 2008, the amount needed for unfunded laws was only P82.97 billion.

“As of 09 December 2010, the funding deficiency of the unfunded laws amount to P187.1-billion,” the budget official said. “The P187.1-billion deficiency only reflects the laws with quantifiable requirements.”

The report also cited the preliminary findings of the defunct House committee on oversight in 2004 about the unimplemented and unfunded laws that said the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program and Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Program are the major laws that have remained unfunded or partially implemented. –Paolo S. Romero (The Philippine Star)

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