G.R. No. 94571. April 22, 1991FACTS:The 1990 budget consists of P98.4 Billion in automatic appropriation (with P86.8 Billion for debt service)and P155.3 Billion appropriated under RA 6831, otherwise known as the General Approriations Act, or atotal of P233.5 Billion, while the appropriations for the DECS amount to P27,017,813,000.00.
The said automatic appropriation for debt service is authorized by PD No. 18, entitled “ Amending
Certain Provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty, as Amended (Re:
Foreign Borrowing Act), “by PD No. 1177, entitled “Revising the Budget Process in Order toInstitutionalize the Budgetary Innovations of the New Society,” and by PD No.1967, entitled “An Act
Strengthening the Guarantee and Payment Positions of the Republic of the Philippines on its Contingent
Liabilities Arising out of Relent and Guaranteed Loans by Appropriating Funds For The Purpose.”
The petitioners were questioning the constitutionality of the automatic appropriation for debt service, itbeing higher than the budget for education, therefore it is against Section 5(5), Article XIV of the
Constitution which mandates to “assign the highest budgetary priority to education.”
ISSUE:Whether or not the automatic appropriation for debt service is unconstitutional; it being higher than thebudget for education.HELD:No. While it is true that under Section 5(5), Article XIV of the Constitution Congress is mandated to
“assign the highest budgetary priority to education,” it does not th
ereby follow that the hands of Congress are so hamstrung as to deprive it the power to respond to the imperatives of the nationalinterest and for the attainment of other state policies or objectives.