The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) issue got passionately controversial when, on one hand, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled some of the acts and practices by the executive branch on the DAP as unconstitutional and, on the other hand, the executive branch (translated as President Aquino/PNoy) sticking to his belief that his action on the DAP did not violate the law – or so he thinks.
The following were declared by the SC as unconstitutional:
• the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies, and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year AND (all caps mine) without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Acts (GAA);
• the cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive; and
• the funding of projects, activities, and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA
Those who are against the administration are riding on the opinion of the SC and taking the chance to further put PNoy on the spot by calling for his impeachment. Although this move borders on absurdness and arrogance, since PNoy was just following the footsteps of his predecessors in this regard, which made him thought he was doing the right thing, still everyone has the right to seek grievance.
In the same vein, pro-administration keeps on defending their implementation of the DAP and claiming the benefits the country has received from it.
“By implementing DAP, we wanted to ensure that funds are properly used so that social services and public goods are delivered to the people—especially the poor—as swiftly as possible, and with minimal leakages and wastage,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
Also, Abad explained that DAP was a spending reform measure for speeding up public expenditure “to catalyze” economic growth.
But, it is in the context of ‘social services’ that I want to give my two cents worth of opinion.
While many may have condemned the way PNoy handled the DAP, my question is: Have the critics ever gone out of their way to question those who have been impacted favorably by the DAP how it was to receive help from government?
Unless the critics do this, they will never learn the alleviation DAP has contributed to the lives of the poor Filipinos.
Ask the families of the sick, the injured and the chronically ill children in hospitals all over the country (especially those assisted by the Kythe Foundation), the fishermen, the farmers, the students, the beneficiaries of the livelihood programs in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, etc.
Perhaps the Department of Social Welfare and Development could elaborate further on how ease, relief and comfort have given hope to the poor in our society.
What I am simply saying is that let us not just look at the negative side of things just because it was declared unconstitutional. DAP is very much unlike the PDAF scam where even the poorest of the poor got ripped off by public servants.
Let us investigate, verify and confirm instead if DAP carries legitimacy and benefits in its existence.
If it does, then for Christ sake, let the opposition, who normally has this holier-than-thou syndrome and identifies themselves as pro-poor, mention it, so there is equality in the treatment of the DAP issue.