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House Passes Bill to Utilize Excess GOCC Funds for 2023 Budget

Manila, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed House Bill 9513, a significant measure allowing the use of excess funds from government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) for unprogrammed appropriations in the 2023 budget. The bill, which amends Republic Act 11936 or the 2023 General Appropriations Act, received overwhelming support during the plenary session, with 229 lawmakers voting in favor, four against, and two abstentions.

According to Philippines News Agency, funds from GOCCs exceeding their current administrative or operational expenses, benefit obligations, or reserve requirements can be directed towards vital purposes under the unprogrammed appropriations. The Department of Budget and Management describes unprogrammed appropriations as standby authority for incurring additional obligations on priority programs or projects, contingent on exceeding revenue targets or obtaining additional grants or foreign funds.

Albay Representative Joey Salceda, the bill’s author, stated that this proposal aims to efficiently utilize the “idle” funds of GOCCs. He highlighted that many government corporations possess funds significantly beyond their operational needs, which often remain unused in banks or low-yield investments. This situation leads to the inefficient use of national government resources.

Salceda emphasized that these corporations could significantly aid the national government by providing necessary funds for unprogrammed projects that are much needed. The current law stipulates that unprogrammed appropriations are financed through excess revenue collections from non-tax sources, new revenue collections from unanticipated tax or non-tax sources not included in the original Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF), or approved loans for foreign-assisted projects.