THE Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s current probe on the 2004 alleged fertilizer fund diversification is supposed to be in aid of legislation, but it seems it’s the opposition in the lower chamber that has come up with a related bill.

According to Deputy Minority Leader Teofisto Guingona III, House Bill No. 5580 could be the first step toward reforms in the budget process that would prevent the misuse of state monies. That’s what he says happened with funds meant to buy fertilizer in 2004; the talk has been that the money, which ran into hundreds of millions of pesos, went instead to administration allies who would help Gloria Macapagal Arroyo clinch the presidential polls.

The bill, which Guingona authored, seeks to control the president’s wide discretion in disbursing public money and other unspent amounts in the annual budget program. And while the Bukidnon representative is candid enough to admit in i Report‘s latest In the News piece that trying to control the president’s disbursement of funds is quite impossible to pull off, he argues, “This is the first step of a journey…a journey (intended to) make everybody understand how important it is that our budget law should be reformed and how it can affect their lives.”

Read more about the proposed Impoundment Control Act of 2008, its implications, and how it ties in with present events at

1 Response to Budget buster



December 12th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Maybe this would be a very good item to be included in the Charter Change. Instead of giving the President more powers, it would be better to limit the President’s powers on disbursing funds. I guess the people would readily accept this provision in a plebiscite. On the other hand, the Constitution could provide that funds for development (agriculture, infra, health, social welfare, etc) should be divided among the regions automatically with due respect to the workings of the various development councils from the barangay to the regional levels. It is high time that the development councils should be given given enough powers so that their constituents’ needs could be properly addressed. Giving the funds directly to the development councils would ensure that funds are not only given to those favored by Malacanang but equally distributed to every region, provicne, city, municipality and barangay.

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