235 SCRA 506
Philippine Constitution Association, petitioner
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 CAFGU’s, DPWH, and Nat’l Highway Authority.
Whether or not the veto of the president on four special provisions is constitutional and valid?
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 SCU’s – said provision allows for the use of income & creation of revolving fund for SCU’s. Provision for Western Visayas State Univ. & Leyte State Colleges vetoed by Pres. Other SCU’s 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 CAFGU’s – use of special fund for the compensation of the said CAFGU’s. 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.