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Legislative Department Sec.

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TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR. and AQUILINO Q. up to the present, has not approved any such law and thus the
PIMENTEL,JR., petitioners, said P86.8 Billion automatic appropriation in the 1990 budget is
vs. an administrative act that rests on no law, and thus, it cannot be
HON. GUILLERMO CARAGUE enforced.
(G.R. No. 105371 November 11, 1993)

Whereby bills have to be approved by the President, then


a law must be passed by Congress to authorize said automatic
NATURE OF THE CASE: This is a case of first appropriation. Petitioners state said decrees violate Section 29(l)
impression involvng the constitutionality of the automatic of Article VI of the Constitution which provides as follows ––
appropriation for debt service in the 1990 budget.
Sec. 29(l). No money shall be paid out of the Treasury
FACTS: Petitioners are Senators of the Republic of the except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.
Philippines who brought this case to raise the question of
constitutionality of the said automatic appropriation for debt
service which is authorized by P.D. No. 81, entitled "Amending ISSUE: Is the Automatic Appropriation for debt service
Certain Provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four Thousand in the 1990 budget violates Sec. 29(1) Art. VI of the Constitution
Eight Hundred Sixty(4860), as Amended (Re: Foreign and therefore unconstitutional?
Borrowing Act)," by P.D. No. 1177, entitled "Revising the
Budget Process in Order to Institutionalize the Budgetary
HELD: No. Because there is no provision in our
Innovations of the New Society," and by P.D. No. 1967, entitled
Constitution that provides or prescribes any particular form of
"An Act Strengthening the Guarantee and Payment Positions of
words or religious recitals in which an authorization or
the Republic of the Philippines on Its Contingent Liabilities
appropriation by Congress shall be made, except that it be "made
Arising out of Relent and Guaranteed Loan by Appropriating
by law," such as precisely the authorization or appropriation
Funds For The Purpose.
under the questioned presidential decrees. In other words, in
terms of time horizons, an appropriation may be made impliedly
The 1990 budget consists of P98.4 Billion in automatic (as by past but subsisting legislations) as well as expressly for
appropriation with P86.8 Billion for debt service. the current fiscal year (as by enactment of laws by the present
Congress), just as said appropriation may be made in general as
Petitioners argue that the said automatic appropriations well as in specific terms.
under the aforesaid decrees of then President Marcos
became functus oficio when he was ousted in February, 1986. The Court, therefor, finds that R.A. No. 4860, as
And upon the expiration of the one-man legislature in the person amended by P.D. No. 81, Section 31 of P.D. 1177 and P.D. No.
of President Marcos, the legislative power was restored to 1967 constitute lawful authorizations or appropriations, unless
Congress on February 2, 1987 when the Constitution was ratified they are repealed or otherwise amended by Congress. The
by the people. Therefore, a new legislation by the Congress Executive was thus merely complying with the duty to
providing for automatic appropriation should lie, but Congress, implement the same.

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Legislative Department Sec. 29

There can be no question as to the patriotism and good


motive of petitioners in filing this petition. Unfortunately, the
petition must fail on the constitutional and legal issues raised. As
to whether or not the country should honor its international debt,
more especially the enormous amount that had been incurred by
the past administration, which appears to be the ultimate
objective of the petition, is not an issue that is presented or
proposed to be addressed by the Court. Indeed, it is more of a
political decision for Congress and the Executive to determine in
the exercise of their wisdom and sound discretion.

RULING: WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED,


without pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

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Legislative Department Sec. 29

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