Press Releases

Salceda defends Bayanihan 3 in House plenary; House tax chief assures colleagues bill is constitutional

May 24th, 2021

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) defended the constitutionality of House Bill No. 8628, or the Bayanihan to Arise as One as the House plenary deliberated in the measure today

“Our people are not yet on dry land, despite the progress we are making on vaccination and therapeutics. This pandemic is far from over. They need our help, and they need a lifesaver,” Salceda said.

Constitutionality issues fleshed out

In his sponsorship speech, Salceda said that “Bayanihan 3 already meets the constitutional requirement that the proposal be supported by funds to be raised by revenue proposed in the same bill. The question of presentation of certification of availability of funds is superfluous because the proposal meets the condition that a special appropriations bill be supported “by funds … to be raised by a corresponding revenue proposed therein.” In fact, Sections 34, 35, and 36 of the proposal identify sources for funding the measure.”

Salceda also emphasized that borrowing can be used to fund the package. Salceda pointed out that “in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Funding, the DBM itself defines borrowing as “Funds obtained from repayable sources.””

Salceda also said that “as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, was not presented by the Executive with arguments requiring the full availability of P46.4 billion to fund Republic Act No. 9358, or the supplemental budget of 2006. The supplemental budget included items such as relief for the Guimaras oil spill, aid for those affected by the Mayon eruption, and various other items not covered by the reenacted budget of the same year.”

“The underlying assumption was that because there was a reenacted budget for the same year, the supplemental budget would be funded with proceeds from regular borrowing operations of the government and would “”cover the funding deficiencies of the government in the event that the 2006 national budget is unacted upon by Congress.” Salceda said.

“My submission, based on my experience as former Appropriations Chair, is that Bayanihan 3 already complies with the constitutional condition for special appropriations bills, and can thus be approved by the House.”

Salceda also says that the Bayanihan 3 is more fiscally responsible than past supplemental funding measures.

“In fact, the proposal works harder to meet the fiscal costs of new spending one-to-one that the 2006 supplemental appropriations, as it at the very least attempts to be as close to deficit-neutral as possible,” Salceda said.

The House tax chair, however, emphasized the need to keep an eye on the country’s finances.

“I nonetheless reiterate the need for continued fiscal vigilance as the Philippines is already at the front end of the pack for deficit spending in Southeast Asia. Although we can accommodate some expansion in deficit spending coming from a low pre-pandemic debt stock (with an all-time low of 39.6% of GDP in 2019), deficit spending should not be a substitute for full recovery through an effective national vaccination strategy and a safe reopening of the economy.”

Economy still needs infusion from government

Salceda also emphasized the need for an infusion of “direction and support” from the national government.

“The leading indicators of the economy show that aggressive government fiscal support is still required. First Quarter GDP for 2021 declined by 4.2% year-on-year, despite improvements in health capacity and the start of vaccination. As an analyst, my sense of the continued stagnation of the stock market is that the economy is still in need of guidance and leadership from the government. This needs to be big enough to matter,” Salceda said.

“Bayanihan 3 is a bridge to the vaccine and the reopening of the economy, but we need this bridge to get there.”

Salceda defends Bayanihan 3 in House plenary; House tax chief assures colleagues bill is constitutional

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) defended the constitutionality of House Bill No. 8628, or the Bayanihan to Arise as One as the House plenary deliberated in the measure today

“Our people are not yet on dry land, despite the progress we are making on vaccination and therapeutics. This pandemic is far from over. They need our help, and they need a lifesaver,” Salceda said.

Constitutionality issues fleshed out

In his sponsorship speech, Salceda said that “Bayanihan 3 already meets the constitutional requirement that the proposal be supported by funds to be raised by revenue proposed in the same bill. The question of presentation of certification of availability of funds is superfluous because the proposal meets the condition that a special appropriations bill be supported “by funds … to be raised by a corresponding revenue proposed therein.” In fact, Sections 34, 35, and 36 of the proposal identify sources for funding the measure.”

Salceda also emphasized that borrowing can be used to fund the package. Salceda pointed out that “in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Funding, the DBM itself defines borrowing as “Funds obtained from repayable sources.””

Salceda also said that “as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, was not presented by the Executive with arguments requiring the full availability of P46.4 billion to fund Republic Act No. 9358, or the supplemental budget of 2006. The supplemental budget included items such as relief for the Guimaras oil spill, aid for those affected by the Mayon eruption, and various other items not covered by the reenacted budget of the same year.”

“The underlying assumption was that because there was a reenacted budget for the same year, the supplemental budget would be funded with proceeds from regular borrowing operations of the government and would “”cover the funding deficiencies of the government in the event that the 2006 national budget is unacted upon by Congress.” Salceda said.

“My submission, based on my experience as former Appropriations Chair, is that Bayanihan 3 already complies with the constitutional condition for special appropriations bills, and can thus be approved by the House.”

Salceda also says that the Bayanihan 3 is more fiscally responsible than past supplemental funding measures.

“In fact, the proposal works harder to meet the fiscal costs of new spending one-to-one that the 2006 supplemental appropriations, as it at the very least attempts to be as close to deficit-neutral as possible,” Salceda said.

The House tax chair, however, emphasized the need to keep an eye on the country’s finances.

“I nonetheless reiterate the need for continued fiscal vigilance as the Philippines is already at the front end of the pack for deficit spending in Southeast Asia. Although we can accommodate some expansion in deficit spending coming from a low pre-pandemic debt stock (with an all-time low of 39.6% of GDP in 2019), deficit spending should not be a substitute for full recovery through an effective national vaccination strategy and a safe reopening of the economy.”

Economy still needs infusion from government

Salceda also emphasized the need for an infusion of “direction and support” from the national government.

“The leading indicators of the economy show that aggressive government fiscal support is still required. First Quarter GDP for 2021 declined by 4.2% year-on-year, despite improvements in health capacity and the start of vaccination. As an analyst, my sense of the continued stagnation of the stock market is that the economy is still in need of guidance and leadership from the government. This needs to be big enough to matter,” Salceda said.

“Bayanihan 3 is a bridge to the vaccine and the reopening of the economy, but we need this bridge to get there.”

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