Budget reform bill filed in House to deter unfunded mandates


A BILL has been filed in the House of Representatives seeking to better align budget items with national government priorities and to deter proposed uses of public money with no identified funding sources.

House Bill No. 9214, which if passed will go into the books as the Budget Modernization Act, was filed by Representative Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda, a vice-chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.

“As the most important guiding document of national policy for the year, the budget must be prepared, discussed, and enforced in a manner that upholds national interest and the Constitution. It must be prepared and implemented with a view towards national objectives for the year,” Mr. Salceda said in statement Friday.

Mr. Salceda cited the need to avoid waste in allocating funds and to discourage unfunded mandates, in which spending proposals are made without identifying the sources of the funds.

“There is urgent need for a framework that clarifies the management of public resources, especially in view of the pressures our public resources face during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The Budget Modernization Bill “clarifies the processes and regulations for budget preparation, management, and reporting…(and) institutionalizes the Budget Priorities Framework to ensure that the national budget is allocated towards clear national priorities,” he added.

He said it is important to set clear ground rules for budget preparation, management of fiscal resources, and reporting on how budget funds were spent. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago