Enrile Hits Executive 'Control' of Unused Judiciary Funds

Manila Bulletin, September 14, 2011 | Go to article overview

Enrile Hits Executive 'Control' of Unused Judiciary Funds


MANILA, Philippines - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will "personally resist" the inclusion of a special provision in the proposed 2012 national budget giving the Executive department control over funds allocated for unfilled positions in the judiciary, independent constitutional agencies, and other non-Executive branches of government.At the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the budget of the judiciary, Enrile called the shift in fiscal policy a "system of control," saying it is a clear violation of the Constitution and infringes on the principle of separation of power."We operate on a principle of separation of power. People allocated powers to three departments of government. We're equal, independent and coordinate. None should control the other. As far as I'm concerned, and I don't bind the Senate, it is a system of control that is unwarranted," Enrile said before the committee chaired by Sen. Franklin Drilon.Enrile is referring to the miscellaneous personnel benefit fund (MPBF) which is intended for unfilled positions of independent constitutional agencies which include the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Sandiganbayan, and the Ombudsman.The MPBF was brought up during the committee's deliberation on the judiciary's budget. The MPBF is included in the annual budget of the respective offices of these agencies and is automatically released to these offices for them to disburse when they hire additional personnel.But a provision in the proposed 2012 budget would allow the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to control unused funds meant for the hiring of personnel for the judiciary and other constitutional agencies.According to Drilon, this is to stop the conversion of these funds being practiced by some government agencies.Enrile warned that if the funds, some P2-billion for 2012, are not utilized, it would end up as a "huge pork barrel" for the Aquino administration."I don't think it's correct for the Executive to impound these funds. When the Executive impounds it in the manner they are doing, the automatic release of this (fund) is no longer existent. Then it now depends on the secretary of DBM," Enrile said."This is going to be a huge pork barrel. …

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Enrile Hits Executive 'Control' of Unused Judiciary Funds
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