President Benigno Aquino III signed the P2.606-trillion national budget, which contained a modified definition of savings after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as partly unconstitutional.
With the definition of savings, Malacañang does not have much leeway with the 2015 budget.In the budget bill the bicameral committee approved, savings refer to portions or balances of any released appropriations under the 2015 budget but have not been obligated as a result of the following:
- an ongoing program, activity or project was discontinued or abandoned and given finality the agency head concerned due to causes that cannot be cited as the fault or negligence of the agency that would implement the program, activity or project impossible
- the program, activity or project could commence because the appropriations is released due to natural or man-made calamities or other causes not attributable to the fault or negligence of the agency concerned
- decreased cost as a result of improved efficiency during implementation or until the program, activity or project is completed
- a difference between the budget approvedfor the contract and the contract price that was awarded
Savings may likewise refer to available balances of appropriations arising from unused compensation and related costs pertaining to unfilled, vacant or abolished positions, non-entitlement to allowances and benefits, leaves of absence without pay and unutilized pension and retirement benefits arising from death of pensioners, decrease in the number of retirees, or other related causes.
However, programmed appropriations or allotments which have not been released or allotments not obligated due to the fault of the agency concerned shall not be considered savings.
I do hope he also sign now the approved bill increasing the tax exemption of bonus up to P82,000. Many people are hoping that this will now be made into a law. We all know that the beneficiaries of this pending law are hose taxpayers who have automatics tax deductions from their salaries.