Duterte Vetoes 4 Budget Provisions

Manila Bulletin, December 28, 2017 | Go to article overview

Duterte Vetoes 4 Budget Provisions


By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has vetoed four provisions in the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) or the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2018.

Duterte's veto message on the GAA was sent to Congress Wednesday, eight days after he signed the GAA and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.

He referred to the four provisions as "rider provisions" and must be subject to direct veto.

"Provisions embraced in this Budget which do not relate to some particular appropriation and are introduced herein with the purpose of amending existing laws and rules have no place in the general appropriations bill," Duterte's veto message read.

One of the provisions Duterte vetoed is the "Monitoring Expenses of Board Members" of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

"Under the Salary Standardization Law and its implementing rules, board members are already authorized to receive honoraria or per diems in the performance of their official functions," the veto message stated.

It said that other necessary expenses incurred in the conduct of monitoring and evaluation by the MTRCB may be allowed, subject to budgeting, accounting, and auditing laws, rules, and regulations.

Collection of fees

The second provision Duterte vetoed is Section 87 of the GAA or the, "Collection of Fees in Relation to the Retention or Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship," which prohibits the imposition and collections of fees.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has been implementing the collection of fees for the retention or reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. As of March 2014, the application fee alone is priced at P2,500, based on the BI website.

The veto message stated that government agencies cannot be deprived of their inherent authority to assess reasonable fees in the provision of services.

Duterte also cited Executive Order (EO) No. 292 series of 1987 which empowers the heads of agencies to update their rates of fees and charges to recover the costs of rendered services.

Third provision

Duterte cited the same reason when he decided to veto the Office of the Education Secretary's Special Provision No. 14 or the, "Use of School Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses for Payment of Items That May Be Classified as Capital Outlay. …

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