PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. rejected three provisions under the P5.268-trillion General Appropriations Act of 2023, which are “not related to the newly approved appropriations and could amend substantive laws.”

Marcos vetoed the Department of Education (DepEd) special provision for revolving fund of DepEd TV; Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) special provision for the use of income; and the proviso “in no case shall the appropriations be utilized to change the tourism campaign slogan” under Department of Tourism (DOT)-Osec (Office of the Secretary), Special Provision No. 4, “Branding Campaign Program.”

In relation to the DOLE revolving fund, he said 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.

Under the said law, the chief executive is required to submit to Congress within 30 days from the opening of every regular session the financing sources for each year as the basis of the General Appropriations Bill, a budget of expenditures and sources of financing, including receipts from existing and proposed measures.

Marcos said it is also mandated under the law that income accruing to the agencies by virtue of the provisions of the law, orders and regulations will be deposited in the National Treasury or in any duly authorized government depository and will accrue to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund of the government.

He said the NLRC is not granted authority to use its income under existing laws.

“Further, Section 66 of PD (Presidential Decree) No. 1445 and Section 45, Chapter 5, Book VI of EO (Executive Order) 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,” the President said.

“The funding requirements for the operations of the NLRC are already fully provided under its budget under this act,” he added.

For the DepEd, Marcos said there is no law authorizing the agency to establish a revolving fund for the purpose of the DepEd TV.

He said 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 that permits the establishment of a revolving fund from receipts derived from business-type activities.

Marcos also explained that under Republic Act No. 9593, the Department of Tourism 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.

He said the agency is tasked to promote tourism as an engine of socioeconomic and cultural growth in the country.

On December 16, 2022, Marcos signed into law the P5.268-trillion General Appropriations Act of 2023. (SunStar Philippines)