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PIA Press Release
2006/10/04

Commentary: Malacanang upholds fiscal autonomy of constitutional commissions

By Renee F. De Guzman

San Fernando City, La Union (4 October) -- Malacanang asks Sen. Franklin Drilon, Chairman of the Senate Committee on finance to take a reasoned stance and not make a partisan issue against the administration with respect to the budget of the Constitutional Commissions.

Earlier, Sen Drilon has urged Malacanang and the Department of Budget and Management to “ respect the fiscal autonomy of the Constitutional Commissions to allow them to function independently according to the mandate assigned them by the Constitution.”

“They should observe the provisions of the Constitution, in so far as fiscal autonomy of the constitutional offices are given fiscal autonomy. The amount appropriated for them be automatically released,” Drilon added.

According to the administration, the fears being raised by Drilon are unfounded as the fiscal autonomy of the independent constitutional commissions has always been upheld by the Palace.

The Executive Branch explained that it has not impaired in anyway the funds of the Constitutional Commissions as a way of influencing their decisions on matters of public interest.

On the other hand, according to the DBM, the requirements for the release of budget allocation of all government agencies including constitutional commissions are uniform. Financial reports are to be submitted to the DBM before funds are released to offices. No financial reports, no budget release.

Delays in fund releases happen due to the agency’s non compliance/submission of the required financial reports, or due to technical constraints or both . But there has been no willful interference in these matters by the DBM or even by Malacanang, the DBM explained.

As our country is in distress and is in dire need of unity and cooperation in the wake of the disaster, we urge Senator Drilon and the rests of the opposition to temporarily set aside their political concerns and instead help in the rehabilitation efforts so that the victims will be brought to their productive endeavors. (PIA La Union) [top]

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