MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Joker Arroyo yesterday warned the people of moves by President Aquino’s allies to impose the martial law practice of controlling the budget of constitutional agencies.
The Palace seeks to create into a lump sum appropriation in the proposed 2012 national budget the P101 billion allocated for “unfilled” positions in various government agencies.
The House of Representatives has approved at the committee level the special provision, which refers to the so-called Miscellaneous Personal Benefit Fund in the proposed P1.8-trillion national budget.
“The evil geniuses that conceived this scheme, which is a throwback to the martial law practice, want the judiciary to beg to the executive,” Arroyo said, adding that agencies have to beg for funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) upon approval of the President before the funds are released for every appointment to an unfilled post.
He said that since 1986 (after the EDSA People Power revolt that toppled the dictator Ferdinand Marcos) up to the present (2011 budget under Aquino), unfilled positions of independent constitutional agencies – the Supreme Court, Congress, Commission on Elections, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Office of the Ombudsman – are bankrolled through appropriations for these respective offices.
These funds are automatically released to these offices for them to disburse when appointments are made.
For 2012, Arroyo said this “time-honored practice was drastically changed.”
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