Misgivings on the misuse of PDAF and DAP

 

santiSome parts of  Luzon are still reeling from the havoc caused by typhoon Santi (international name Nari) when it left in its wake 13 dead, more than 43,000 people displaced from ripped off roofs, toppled trees, landslides and inundation that included a vast portion of agricultural areas, when another tropical disturbance Tino (international name Wipha) has been spotted that is expected to affect the country’s northeastern coastline, somehow, although it is predicted not to make a landfall, thanks God.

 There could still be more typhoons hitting the country before the year ends and to think that what is normal now, whether it is packing strong winds or carrying with it a vast rainfall, is contending with landslides, flooding, displacements and deaths, the more that government funds should be readily available so that infrastructures, business establishments, school buildings, homes, and the like, destroyed, could easily be rehabilitated to immediately bring back normalcy in the lives of people, especially those hit hard.

 It is in this context that one can’t help but have misgivings on how the PDAF and DAP funds have been misused by unscrupulous people instead of legally and wisely applying it to mitigate the effects of destruction to lives and properties brought about by heavy rainfall or typhoons.

 I understand that government has enough money, other than that coming from the PDAF and DAP, to help typhoon and flood victims as a result of a more efficient fiscal management.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that because of a better economy under the Aquino administration, the government was able to cut the interest for its debts enabling it to have more fund for different programs.

 He added that because of a stronger economy under the President’s stewardship, the country’s need to borrow decreases.

There is also an increasing tax collection in the country making the national government have more money to fund wide array of social projects, he added.

 Abad said the government has a remaining P 6.8 billion calamity fund at the middle of this year with a separate P 680 million as contingency fund.

Different departments, which are frontliners during calamities, also have huge quick reaction funds in their coffers, he said. Among these agencies include the Dept. of National Defense and the Office of Civil Defense.

Because of the quick reaction fund, these agencies could immediately react and help communities during disasters even without direct supervision of the President.

Aren’t all these bullshit pronouncements by Abad?

 If government has all that money, then walking the talk should have been done a long time ago.

Let us not be keeping that money only to be spent when natural disasters occur. It should be spent to prevent or at least mitigate the impact of a huge calamity and the rest reserved to rehabilitate quickly what has been destroyed.

Why keep on building up the amount for the calamity and contingency funds? I wouldn’t doubt if the way the PDAF and DAP has gone, these calamity and contingent funds will go the same way, too – to be corrupted.

My point here is this: To Filipinos, it is not about bragging how much money the government has saved because of good fiscal management. It is more about what the government has done to this huge savings to improve the well being of Filipinos.

After all, the savings that we are talking about belongs to the people and it is just right and proper that as the country’s economy starts turning around that so, too, should the people’s lives start coming around for the better.

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