DBM ‘needs to segregate’ lump sum funds in 2013 budget-A A +A
Monday, September 10, 2012
THE House of Representatives will not approve the P2.006 trillion 2013 national budget until the Budget department clearly defines the projects to which several lump sum funds have been initially allocated to, the appropriations committee chairman said Monday.
"It will be a setback if there will be a lump sum fund without details. It should be broken down," appropriations committee chairman and Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya said in an ambush interview on the sidelines of the plenary deliberations on the proposed 2013 budget.
Earlier, Agham party-list Representative Angelo Palmones warned that new item in the budget, the so-called Priority Social and Economic Projects Fund (PSEPF), may be used by the administration as an "election budget."
The PSEPF, a funding requirement of priority and social and economic projects, has an appropriation of P22.4 billion.
The PSEPF will be distributed to the following agencies: Department of Health, 13.5 billion; Department of Transportation and Communications, P3 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways, P2 billion; Programs/Projects under the Bottom-Up Budgeting, P2 billion; Department of Trade and Industry, P770 million; Budgetary Support to Government Corporations–Philippine Coconut Authority, P566 million; and Peso Counterpart of Foreign-Assisted Projects in the Pipeline, P511 million.
"These have been adopted in the budget, but segregated under a Special Purpose Fund, in line with the policy against lump sum funds in agency budgets. Once the agencies flesh out these projects, these will be submitted to Congress as amendments," the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said in its website.
Under the National Expenditure Program submitted by the DBM to Congress, the amounts indicated shall be released to the appropriate implementing agencies upon submission by said agencies of the details necessary for disaggregating the amounts into specific programs, projects and activities.
Congress expects the DBM to send an "errata" to shift back the amounts to the appropriate agencies.
"The DBM will send us a letter, giving us provision so and so to insert this. You merely shift it back, but the amount P2.066 billion won't change," Abaya said.
Abaya, meanwhile, appealed to House members for their support for the early passage of House Bill 6455 or the budget bill, the last budget to be approved this 15th Congress.
Abaya, also the newly appointed chief of the Department of Transportation and Communications, earlier said that the House of Representatives will vote on second reading on the budget bill by September 20. The third reading vote will be on October 15. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)