MANILA -- A measure seeking to repeal laws mandating the automatic appropriation of debt payment was filed by two lawmakers Tuesday.

Representative Rufus Rodriguez (second district, Cagayan de Oro) and Abante Mindanao Representative Maximo Rodriguez Jr. filed House Bill 1717 or the act restoring the Congress the power to appropriate payments on debt service and the revival for the purpose, Section 6 of Republic Act (RA) No. 4860 or Foreign Borrowing Act.

Section 6 of RA 4860 states: "The Congress shall appropriate the necessary amount out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to cover the payment of the principal and interest on such loans, credits or indebtedness as and when they shall become due."

The Rodriguez brothers stated that out of the P1.138 trillion national budget, 28 percent of this or P318 billion is allocated for debt payments thus leaving Congress with 72 percent only.

The measure seeks to bring about a balanced government expenditure program, it states. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)