(Question VI-A, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
The President appoints the Vice President as his Administration’s Housing Czar, a position that requires the appointee to sit in the Cabinet. Although the appointment of the members of the Cabinet requires confirmation by the Commission on Appointment (CA), the Office of the President does not submit the appointment to the CA. May the Vice President validly sit in the Cabinet? (2.5%)
Under the 1987 Constitution, the Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation. Rule
In the case at bar, the President appointed the Vice-President as the Administration’s Czar resulting in the Vice-President becoming a Member of the Cabinet. As provided in the Constitution, the appointment does not require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Apply
Thus, the Vice President may validly sit in the Cabinet. Conclusion
(Question VI-B, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
The Executive Department has accumulated substantial savings from its appropriations. Needing ₱3,000,000.00 for the conduct of a plebiscite for the creation of a new city but has no funds appropriated soon by the Congress for the purpose, the COMELEC requests the President to transfer funds from the savings of the Executive Department in order to avoid a delay in the holding of the plebiscite.
May the President validly exercise his power under the 1987 Constitution to transfer funds from the savings of the Executive Department, and make a cross-border transfer of ₱3,000,000.00 to the COMELEC by way of augmentation? Is your answer the same if the transfer is treated as aid to the COMELEC? Explain your answer. (4%)
(a) No. Answer
Under the 1987 Constitution, transferring of appropriations is prohibited. However, by way of exception, the President, and other certain officials, by law, is authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. Rule
In the case at bar, the President intends to transfer appropriations outside of the Executive Department and into a Constitutional Commission – the COMELEC. This is not permitted under the 1987 Constitution. Apply
Thus, the president may not validly exercise his power under the 1987 Constitution to transfer funds from savings of the Executive Department to the COMELEC by way of augmentation. Conclusion
(b) My answer is the same even if it is treated as aid to the COMELEC. This is because such cross-border transfer of funds is expressly prohibited by the 1987 Constitution.
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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