Special message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, to the National Assembly in connection with the submittal of the budget for 1944, December 4, 1943.

GENTLEMEN OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY:

Pursuant to the provisions of section 7, paragraph 1, Article III of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, I have the honor to submit herewith, for your consideration, the national budget for the fiscal year 1944. This budget contains the estimated ordinary income of the national government based upon the existing revenue laws of the Philippines, a proposed extraordinary income from contribution and bond issues, and the estimated expenses for both the ordinary operation of the national government and the extraordinary expenditures proposed to be incurred during the coming year.

The total estimated regular income accruing for 1944, to be derived from the enforcement of the existing revenue laws, is ₱54,052,560. The total income that is estimated to accrue this year is approximately ₱45,000,000. The estimated collections for the incoming fiscal year from ordinary income are expected, therefore, to exceed the corresponding estimates for the current year by about ₱9,000,000.

The increase in the estimated income derived from existing revenue sources for the year 1944 over that for the year 1943 is largely due to the improving general economic outlook being brought about by the gradual restoration over a constantly enlarging area of the normal processes of life as a result of the re-establishment of peace and order therein.

To the estimated ordinary income above stated, amounting to ₱54,052,560, should be added the estimated unencumbered surplus at the close of the current fiscal period, amounting to ₱590,367.97, which would give a total sum available for expenditure during the year 1944, amounting to ₱54,642,927.97.

Chargeable against this sum, the budget proposes expenditures for the ordinary operations of the national government for the fiscal year 1944, reaching the total amount of ₱54,277,470, which, notwithstanding the fact that the ordinary expenditures incorporated in the budget, are, with some exceptions, mostly continuations of existing authorized governmental activities, is about ₱12,400,000 greater than the corresponding expenditures for 1943 (April 1, 1943 to March 31, 1944, Executive Order No. 153) amounting to about ₱41,860,000. Aside from new appropriation items that have had to be provided, such as those for the servicing of the public debt, for the stabilization of the food production campaign, for the promotion of the horse industry, for the provision of additional teaching positions, for the opening of additional post-offices, etc., this increase is due also to the extension to one full year in 1944 of the appropriations for various activities and services inaugurated or started late during the current fiscal year; to the incorporation in the budget of the minimum salary scale for the lower class positions authorized in Act No. 7; and to the provision, also for one full year, of the salary differentials authorized at varying rates and for a number of months only during the current fiscal year under Executive Order No. 153, as amended, and under Act No. 8. However, the estimated regular income for 1944, together with the estimated surplus at the close of the current year, covers the estimated ordinary expenses proposed for the same and leaves a balance of ₱365,457.97.

It is believed desirable and necessary that during the incoming fiscal year the payment of salary differentials in accordance with the scale already established in Act No. 8 be continued.

In addition to the appropriations for the ordinary expenditures of the Republic, the budget proposes various items of extraordinary expenditures in the total sum of ₱60,564,140. These extraordinary expenditure proposals are intended to be covered by extraordinary income proposed to be derived from the sale of bonds, amounting to ₱60,000,000, the authority for which I am submitting by a separate message to that honorable body, and from a contribution of the Imperial Japanese Army in the sum of ₱2,000,000. These sums, together with the unencumbered excess of the ordinary income over the ordinary expenditures, estimated at ₱365,457.97 will give a total of ₱62,365,457.97, which is ₱1,801,317.97 over the proposed extraordinary expenditures. The sum of ₱2,000,000 mentioned is being contributed by the Imperial Japanese Army for the acquisition of lands that may be needed for military purposes and the indemnization for improvements thereon.

The reason for the segregation of the ordinary from the extraordinary expenditures is familiar to you all. I have distinguished from the former those that I consider are of the nature of investments not only in the acquisition of permanent public improvements that will increase the national wealth, but also and principally investments in the future security and integrity of this Republic. Accordingly, I have classed under extraordinary expenditures, the total appropriation for the operation, maintenance and expansion of the Bureau of Constabulary, the expenses proposed for pacification and for relief in connection therewith, the acquisition, as above stated, of lands for military purposes and the indemnization for improvements thereon, the construction of additional irrigation and drainage systems, and the various projects involving the construction and reconstruction of public works, including the continuance of the work on flood control. I believe there is justification in charging to the future part of the burden of the cost of these activities since the benefits to be derived from them will not be enjoyed by the present generation alone. The blessings of peace and order, the assurance of national solidarity and security, these things belong more to the future than to the present. It is only proper that the present should not be burdened wholly with their cost.

Consistent with the budgetary policy we have heretofore followed, to make the annual budget the complete financial program of the government that it should be, the expenditure estimates of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes, the Public Employees Life Insurance and the Metropolitan Waterworks Office, organizations that are supported from their respective funds, are embodied in the attached budget under their respective Ministries. Except the portions, however, of the income of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes and the Metropolitan Waterworks Office that are to be transferred to the General Fund, the income and expenditure totals of these three entities are not included in the corresponding totals of this budget.

The budget I am submitting to you reproduces essentially the existing governmental organization of the Republic as authorized in various laws and orders in force today. Conformably with my message of November 25, 1943, wherein I asked that the National Assembly consider among other vital problems the manner by which the present governmental organization should be recast in order that simplicity, efficiency, and economy in governmental operations might be promoted, I am asking your approval of the budget as presented, but at the same time I invite your honorable body to participate in the formulation of a concrete and workable plan for said governmental reorganization, after the adjournment of the present regular session of the National Assembly. I feel that neither the Chief Executive nor the National Assembly has sufficient time now for the full and unhurried consideration of a measure of such magnitude. For obvious reasons, governmental reorganization should be planned and carried out with care and circumspection. We are badly in need of a governmental scheme that, on the one hand, would be responsive to the needs of the present emergency and, on the other, would be simple, efficient and economical. For this purpose, I am proposing the incorporation in the budget of a provision which would authorize and empower the President until December 31, 1944, to effect such changes in the different Ministries, bureaus and offices as he may consider necessary to create new ones or abolish those existing to transfer offices, activities, functions, personnel, appropriations, equipments, materials records and other properties from one Ministry, bureau or office to another, provided that the same be carried out within the limits of the total appropriations which may be authorized for that fiscal year.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library