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PUBLISHED | Full text of Supreme Court ruling on PDAF
The online news portal of TV5

The Supreme Court, voting 14-0-1 on November 19, 2013, struck down as unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or the congressional pork barrel and directed all concerned to desist from using the balance of the Fund for the year. All justices concurred in the ponencia by Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, with separate opinions submitted by the Chief Justice (concurring in the result only), Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio and Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen. Justice Presbiterio Velasco abstained.

The full text of the Supreme Court decision is published below. To download a copy, as well as copies of the separate opinions of the Justices, click on the links at the end of this article.

In brief, the SC said the PDAF was unconstitutional because, among others: it

  1. "allowed legislators to wield, in varying gradations, non-oversight, post-enactment authority in vital areas of budget executions (thus violating) the principle of separation of powers; …
  2. "conferred unto legislators the power of appropriation by giving them personal, discretionary funds from which they are able to fund specific projects which they themselves determine (thus violating) the principle of non-delegability of legislative power; …
  3. "created a system of budgeting wherein items are not textualized into the appropriations bill (thus) flout(ing) the prescribed power of presentment and, in the process, (denying) the President the power to veto items; …
  4. "dilutes the effectiveness of congressional oversight by giving legislators a stake in the affairs of budget execution, an aspect of governance which they may be called to monitor and scrutinize, (thus) impair(ing) public accountability; …and
  5. "authorizes legislators, who are national officers, to intervene in affairs of purely local nature, despite the existence of capable local institutions, (thus) subvert(ing) genuine local autonomy; and … confers (on) the President the power to appropriate funds intended by law for energy-related purposes only to other purposes he may deem fit, … once more transgress(ing) the principle of non-delegability."
The full text of the Supreme Court decision is published here. To download a copy, as well as copies of the separate opinions of the Justices, click on the links below: