Friday, November 22, 2013
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN–The Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed Wednesday to donate $45,000 to help the Philippines restore cultural heritage sites in the central Visayas that have been damaged in last month’s earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan two weeks ago.
The unanimous agreement to support the restoration work with financial resources from the ASEAN Cultural Fund came during the Forty-Eighth Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information.
The Philippines was requested to draw up an inventory of damaged cultural sites next month.
The meeting of the Committee opened earlier Wednesday with delegates observing a minute’s silence for the victims of the typhoon, which has claimed thousands of lives since devastating the Central Visayas region two weeks ago.
Among the buildings damaged in Typhoon Haiyanwas the Leyte Provincial Capitol building, a neoclassical edifice that briefly served as the seat of the Philippine government at the end of the Second World War.
MANILA-Senate President Franklin M. Drilon assured today that all provisions in the 2014 General Appropriations Bill will be closely scrutinized to ensure that they are consistent with the latest decision of the Supreme Court on the unconstitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
“I will see to it that all provisions in the 2014 national budget that are inconsistent with the Supreme Court decision are stricken down,” said Drilon.
The proposed P2.268-trillion national budget is currently being heard in the Senate plenary.
For instance, Drilon cited special provision 2 of the budget of the Department of Education where a consultation with the representative of the legislative district concerned should be held prior to the implementation of its school building program.
Drilon likewise identified a special provision relating to the use, allocation and release of LGU shares in the excise tax of locally manufactured virginia type-cigarettes which contains a similar provision “in consultation with the representatives of the congressional districts of the province,” a phrase that may not be in conformity with the SC ruling.
Such provisions, according to the Senate chief, may be construed as legislators’ post enactment participation in the budget execution, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional.
“The constitution empowers the Congress to craft and approve and appropriate public funds, but the matter of execution of the budget is within the power of the executive,” said Drilon.
He added: “the identification and recommendation of projects and programs must be performed by legislators during the budget enactment period. After the budget is passed, the congressmen and senators’ participation should be limited to their oversight functions.”
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