Marcos vetoes 3 items in 2023 nat'l budget

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has vetoed three provisions of the 2023 national budget, which, he said, are unrelated and could amend substantive laws.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has signs into law the P5.268-trillion national budget for 2023 on Dec. 16, 2022. (Ali Vicoy)

Included in the vetoed provisions were the use of a revolving fund for the DepEd TV of the Department of Education (DepEd), use of income for national labor relations, and use of budget for the country's tourism campaign.

DepEd TV

In his veto message, the President said the DepEd-Office of the Secretary (OSEC), Special Provision No. 4, “Revolving Fund of DepEd TV,” Volume I-A, Page 197, was vetoed as there is no law authorizing the DepEd to establish a revolving fund for the purpose.

"Moreover, the DepEd TV is not a business-type activity of the DepEd, which may be considered within the contemplation of the General Provision on Revolving Funds in the FY 2023 GAA, which permits the establishment of a revolving fund from receipts derived from business-type activities," Marcos said.

Nat'l labor relations

The President also vetoed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Special Provision No. 1, “Use of Income,” Volume 1-A, Page 1157.

Marcos pointed out that the subject income already forms part of the revenue and financing sources of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Expenditure Program, which he submitted earlier to Congress pursuant to the mandate under Section 22, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, requiring the chief executive to submit to Congress within 30 days from the opening of every regular session, as the basis of the general appropriations bill, a budget of expenditures and sources of financing, including receipts from existing and proposed measures.

"Relatedly, Section 65 of Presidential Decree No. 1445 (Government Auditing Code of the Philippines), as reiterated in Section 44, Chapter 5, Book VI of Executive Order No. 292, series 1987 (Administrative Code of 1987), provides that unless otherwise specifically provided by law, income accruing to the agencies by virtue of the provisions of the law, orders and regulations shall be deposited in the National Treasury or in any duly authorized government depository and shall accrue to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund of the government," the chief executive said.

“Further, Section 66 of PD No. 1445 and Section 45, Chapter 5, Book VI of EO No. 292 prescribe that receipts shall be recorded as income of Special, Fiduciary or Trust Funds or Funds other than the General Fund only when authorized by law,” he added.

Tourism campaign slogan

The President also noted that "the NLRC is not granted authority to use its income under existing laws," stressing that the funding requirements for the operations of the NLRC are already fully provided under its budget under this Act.

The chief executive also vetoed the proviso “in no case shall the appropriations be utilized to change the tourism campaign slogan” under Department of Tourism (DOT)-OSEC, Special Provision No. 4, “Branding Campaign Program,” Volume I-B, page 313, inasmuch as it intends to limit the exercise of the functions of the Executive Branch in implementing RA No. 9593 (The Tourism Act of 2009).

He explained that under RA No. 9593, the DOT is mandated to be the primary planning, programming, coordinating, implementing and regulatory government agency in the development and promotion of the tourism industry, both domestically and globally.

It is tasked to promote tourism as an engine of socioeconomic and cultural growth in the country, he added.

Marcos signed into law the P5.268-trillion national budget for 2023, which “gives muscle” to the roadmap the administration intends to implement next year on Dec. 16.