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PHILCONSA vs Enriquez

2 Comments
GR No. 113105, August 19, 1994
FACTS:
House Bill No. 10900, the General Appropriation Bill of 1994 (GAB
of 1994), was passed and approved by both houses of Congress
on December 17, 1993. As passed, it imposed conditions and
limitations on certain items of appropriations in the proposed
budget previously submitted by the President. It also authorized
members of Congress to propose and identify projects in the
pork barrels allotted to them and to realign their respective
operating budgets.
Pursuant to the procedure on the passage and enactment of bills
as prescribed by the Constitution, Congress presented the said bill
to the President for consideration and approval.
On December 30, 1993, the President signed the bill into law, and
declared the same to have become Republic Act NO. 7663,
entitled AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FROM JANUARY ONE TO
DECEMBER THIRTY ONE, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR,
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (GAA of 1994). On the same day,
the President delivered his Presidential Veto Message, specifying
the provisions of the bill he vetoed and on which he imposed
certain conditions, as follows:
1. Provision on Debt Ceiling, on the ground that this debt
reduction scheme cannot be validly done through the 1994 GAA.
And that appropriations for payment of public debt, whether
foreign or domestic, are automatically appropriated pursuant to
the Foreign Borrowing Act and Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 as
reiterated under Section 26, Chapter 4, Book VI of E.O. No. 292,
the Administrative Code of 1987.

2. Special provisions which authorize the use of income and the


creation, operation and maintenance of revolving funds in the
appropriation for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs),
3. Provision on 70% (administrative)/30% (contract) ratio for road
maintenance.
4. Special provision on the purchase by the AFP of medicines in
compliance with the Generics Drugs Law (R.A. No. 6675).
5. The President vetoed the underlined proviso in the
appropriation for the modernization of the AFP of the Special
Provision No. 2 on the Use of Fund, which requires the prior
approval of the Congress for the release of the corresponding
modernization funds, as well as the entire Special Provision No. 3
on the Specific Prohibition which states that the said
Modernization Fund shall not be used for payment of six (6)
additional S-211 Trainer planes, 18 SF-260 Trainer planes and 150
armored personnel carriers
5. New provision authorizing the Chief of Staff to use savings in
the AFP to augment pension and gratuity funds.
7. Conditions on the appropriation for the Supreme Court,
Ombudsman, COA, and CHR, the Congress
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the petitioners have locus standi
2. Whether or not the conditions imposed by the President in the
items of the GAA of 1994: (a) for the Supreme Court, (b)
Commission on Audit (COA), (c) Ombudsman, (d) Commission on
Human Rights, (CHR), (e) Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units
(CAFGUS) and (f) State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) are
constitutional

3. Whether or not the veto of the special provision in the


appropriation for debt service and the automatic appropriation of
funds therefore is constitutional.
HELD:
Locus Standi
We rule that a member of the Senate, and of the House of
Representatives for that matter, has the legal standing to
question the validity of a presidential veto or a condition imposed
on an item in an appropriation bill.
To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the
power of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to
participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution
(Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 [1939]; Holtzman v. Schlesinger,
484 F. 2d 1307 [1973]).
Veto of the Provisions
The veto power, while exercisable by the President, is actually a
part of the legislative process (Memorandum of Justice Irene
Cortes as Amicus Curiae, pp. 3-7). There is, therefore, sound basis
to indulge in the presumption of validity of a veto. The burden
shifts on those questioning the validity thereof to show that its
use is a violation of the Constitution.
The vetoed provision on the debt servicing is clearly an attempt
to repeal Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 (Foreign Borrowing Act) and
E.O. No. 292, and to reverse the debt payment policy. As held by
the court in Gonzales, the repeal of these laws should be done in
a separate law, not in the appropriations law.
In the veto of the provision relating to SUCs, there was no undue
discrimination when the President vetoed said special provisions
while allowing similar provisions in other government agencies. If
some government agencies were allowed to use their income and
maintain a revolving fund for that purpose, it is because these
agencies have been enjoying such privilege before by virtue of
the special laws authorizing such practices as exceptions to the
one-fund policy (e.g., R.A. No. 4618 for the National Stud Farm,

P.D. No. 902-A for the Securities and Exchange Commission; E.O.
No. 359 for the Department of Budget and Managements
Procurement Service).
The veto of the second paragraph of Special Provision No. 2 of the
item for the DPWH is unconstitutional. The Special Provision in
question is not an inappropriate provision which can be the
subject of a veto. It is not alien to the appropriation for road
maintenance, and on the other hand, it specifies how the said
item shall be expended 70% by administrative and 30% by
contract.
The Special Provision which requires that all purchases of
medicines by the AFP should strictly comply with the formulary
embodied in the National Drug Policy of the Department of Health
is an appropriate provision. Being directly related to and
inseparable from the appropriation item on purchases of
medicines by the AFP, the special provision cannot be vetoed by
the President without also vetoing the said item (Bolinao
Electronics Corporation v. Valencia, 11 SCRA 486 [1964]).
The requirement in Special Provision No. 2 on the use of Fund
for the AFP modernization program that the President must
submit all purchases of military equipment to Congress for its
approval, is an exercise of the congressional or legislative veto.
However the case at bench is not the proper occasion to resolve
the issues of the validity of the legislative veto as provided in
Special Provisions Nos. 2 and 3 because the issues at hand can be
disposed of on other grounds. Therefore, being inappropriate
provisions, Special Provisions Nos. 2 and 3 were properly vetoed.
Furthermore, Special Provision No. 3, prohibiting the use of the
Modernization fund for payment of the trainer planes and armored
personnel carriers, which have been contracted for by the AFP, is
violative of the Constitutional prohibition on the passage of laws
that impair the obligation of contracts (Art. III, Sec. 10), more so,

contracts entered into by the Government itself. The veto of said


special provision is therefore valid.
The Special Provision, which allows the Chief of Staff to use
savings to augment the pension fund for the AFP being managed
by the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System is violative
of Sections 25(5) and 29(1) of the Article VI of the Constitution.
Regarding the deactivation of CAFGUS, we do not find anything in
the language used in the challenged Special Provision that would
imply that Congress intended to deny to the President the right to
defer or reduce the spending, much less to deactivate 11,000
CAFGU members all at once in 1994. But even if such is the
intention, the appropriation law is not the proper vehicle for such
purpose. Such intention must be embodied and manifested in
another law considering that it abrades the powers of the
Commander-in-Chief and there are existing laws on the creation of
the CAFGUs to be amended.
On the conditions imposed by the President on certain provisions
relating to appropriations to the Supreme Court, constitutional
commissions, the NHA and the DPWH, there is less basis to
complain when the President said that the expenditures shall be
subject to guidelines he will issue. Until the guidelines are issued,
it cannot be determined whether they are proper or inappropriate.
Under the Faithful Execution Clause, the President has the power
to take necessary and proper steps to carry into execution the
law (Schwartz, On Constitutional Law, p. 147 [1977]). These steps
are the ones to be embodied in the guidelines.
CASE DIGEST: Guingona, Jr. vs. Carague
G.R. No. 94571. April 22, 1991
FACTS:
The 1990 budget consists of P98.4 Billion in automatic appropriation (with

P86.8 Billion for debt service) and P155.3 Billion appropriated under RA
6831, otherwise known as the General Approriations Act, or a total of
P233.5 Billion, while the appropriations for the DECS amount to
P27,017,813,000.00.
The said automatic appropriation for debt service is authorized by PD No.
18, entitled Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four
Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty, as Amended (Re: Foreign Borrowing Act),
by PD No. 1177, entitled Revising the Budget Process in Order to
Institutionalize the Budgetary Innovations of the New Society, and by PD
No.1967, entitled An Act Strengthening the Guarantee and Payment
Positions of the Republic of the Philippines on its Contingent Liabilities
Arising out of Relent and Guaranteed Loans by Appropriating Funds For
The Purpose.
The petitioners were questioning the constitutionality of the automatic
appropriation for debt service, it being higher than the budget for education,
therefore it is against Section 5(5), Article XIV of the Constitution which
mandates to assign the highest budgetary priority to education.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the automatic appropriation for debt service is
unconstitutional; it being higher than the budget for education.
HELD:
No. While it is true that under Section 5(5), Article XIV of the Constitution
Congress is mandated to assign the highest budgetary priority to
education, it does not thereby follow that the hands of Congress are so
hamstrung as to deprive it the power to respond to the imperatives of the
national interest and for the attainment of other state policies or objectives.
Congress is certainly not without any power, guided only by its good
judgment, to provide an appropriation, that can reasonably service our

enormous debtIt is not only a matter of honor and to protect the credit
standing of the country. More especially, the very survival of our economy is
at stake. Thus, if in the process Congress appropriated an amount for debt
service bigger than the share allocated to education, the Court finds and so
holds that said appropriation cannot be thereby assailed as unconstitutional
235 SCRA 506
Philippine Constitution Association, petitioner
vs.
Enriquez, respondent
Facts:
RA 7663 (former House bill No. 10900, the General Appropriations Bill of
1994) entitled An Act Appropriating Funds for the Operation of the
Government of the Philippines from January 1 to December 1, 1994, and
for other Purposes was approved by the President and vetoed some of the
provisions.
Petitioners assail the special provision allowing a member of Congress to
realign his allocation for operational expenses to any other expense
category claiming that it violates Sec. 25, Art 7 of the Constitution. Issues of
constitutionality were raised before the Supreme Court.
PhilConsA prayed for a writ of prohibition to declare unconstitutional and
void a.) Art 16 on the Countrywide Development Fund and b.) The veto of
the President of the Special provision of Art XLVIII of the GAA of 1994.
16 members of the Senate sought the issuance of writs of certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus against the Exec. Secretary, the Sec of Dept of
Budget and Management and the National Treasurer and questions: 1.)
Constitutionality of the conditions imposed by the President in the items of
the GAA of 1994 and 2.) the constitutionality of the veto of the special
provision in the appropriation for debt services.
Senators Tanada and Romulo sought the issuance of the writs of
prohibition and mandamus against the same respondents. Petitioners
contest the constitutionality of: 1.) veto on four special provisions added to

items in the GAA of 1994 for the AFP and DPWH; and 2.) the conditions
imposed by the President in the implementation of certain appropriations
for the CAFGUs, DPWH, and Natl Highway Authority.
Issue:
Whether or not the veto of the president on four special provisions is
constitutional and valid?
Held:
Special Provision on Debt Ceiling Congress provided for a debt-ceiling.
Vetoed by the Pres. w/o vetoing the entire appropriation for debt service.
The said provisions are germane to & have direct relation w/ debt service.
They are appropriate provisions & cannot be vetoed w/o vetoing the entire
item/appropriation. VETO VOID.
Special Provision on Revolving Funds for SCUs said provision allows for
the use of income & creation of revolving fund for SCUs. Provision for
Western Visayas State Univ. & Leyte State Colleges vetoed by Pres. Other
SCUs enjoying the privilege do so by existing law. Pres. merely acted in
pursuance to existing law. VETO VALID.
Special Provision on Road Maintenance Congress specified 30% ratio fo
works for maintenance of roads be contracted according to guidelines set
forth by DPWH. Vetoed by the Pres. w/o vetoing the entire appropriation. It
is not an inappropriate provision; it is not alien to the subj. of road
maintenance & cannot be veoted w/o vetoing the entire appropriation.
VETO VOID.
Special Provision on Purchase of Military Equip. AFP modernization, prior
approval of Congress required before release of modernization funds. It is
the so-called legislative veto. Any prov. blocking an admin. action in
implementing a law or requiring legislative approval must be subj. of a
separate law. VETO VALID.
Special Provision on Use of Savings for AFP Pensions allows Chief of
Staff to augment pension funds through the use of savings. According to

the Consttution, only the Pres. may exercise such power pursuant to a
specific law. Properly vetoed. VETO VALID.
Special Provision on Conditions for de-activation of CAFGUs use of
special fund for the compensation of the said CAFGUs. Vetoed, Pres.
requires his prior approval. It is also an amendment to existing law (PD No.
1597 & RA No. 6758). A provision in an appropriation act cannot be used to
repeal/amend existing laws. VETO VALID.
Case DIgest: Aglipay vs Ruiz
Facts of the Case:
The Director of Posts announced on May 1936 in Manila newspapers that
he would order the issuance of postage stamps for the commemoration of
the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress celebration in the City of
Manila. The said event was organized by the Roman Catholic Church.
Monsignor Gregorio Aglipay, the petitioner, is the Supreme Head of the
Philippine Independent Church, requested Vicente Sotto who is a member
of the Philippine Bar to raise the matter to the President. The said stamps
in consideration were actually issued already and sold though the greater
part thereof remained unsold. The further sale of the stamps was sought to
be prevented by the petitioner.
Issue:
Whether or not the respondent violated the Constitution in issuing and
selling postage stamps commemorative of the Thirty-third International
Eucharistic Congress
Held:
No, the respondent did not violate the Constitution by issuing and selling
the commemorative postage stamps. Ruiz acted under the provision of Act
No. 4052, which contemplates no religious purpose in view, giving the

Director of Posts the discretion to determine when the issuance of new


postage stamps would be advantageous to the Government. Of course,
the phrase advantageous to the Government does not authorize the
violation of the Constitution. In the case at bar, the issuance of the postage
stamps was not intended by Ruiz to favor a particular church or
denomination. The stamps did not benefit the Roman Catholic Church, nor
were money derived from the sale of the stamps given to that church. The
purpose of issuing of the stamps was to actually take advantage of an
international event considered to be a great opportunity to give publicity to
the Philippines and as a result attract more tourists to the country. In
evaluating the design made for the stamp, it showed the map of the
Philippines instead of showing a Catholic chalice. The focus was on the
location of the City of Manila, and it also bore the inscription that reads
Seat XXXIII International Eucharistic Congress, Feb. 3-7, 1937. In
considering these, it is evident that there is no violation of the Constitution
therefore the act of the issuing of the stamps is constitutional.
The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of prohibition, without
pronouncement as to costs.