‘Support for PNoy’

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Saturday, July 26, 2014


OFFICIALS of Negros Occidental led by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson signed a manifesto of support for President Benigno S. Aquino III amid the controversy on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) hounding his administration.

The manifesto, which has the signatures of 21 mayors, 11 board members, and two local business leaders, came out three days before the President delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.

In the manifesto, the Negrense officials cited the several projects the Aquino administration has extended to the province as they appeal to the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision declaring key portions of the DAP unconstitutional.

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"As leaders of various local government units in Negros Occidental, we are very much aware of the importance of the budget system in the government’s effort to promote a stable economy and spur the country’s economic growth. A responsive budget system is vital in ensuring that the government will be able to immediately address the needs of its people," the manifesto reads.

It added, "One measure of the responsiveness of the budget system is its ability to channel savings where they are needed, when they are needed. Oftentimes, despite due diligence in planning, things do not go the way government expected them to be due to events which even the most prudent person could never have foreseen. It will, therefore, help if there is a mechanism such as the DAP that will allow government enough flexibility to use public savings according to what current and future conditions may demand.”

The officials said, “Negros Occidental is very fortunate to have enjoyed the generosity of His Excellency whose programs through the DAP have benefitted the poorest of poor in the province.”

For the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps alone, close to P3 billion was appropriated to Negros Occidental, on top of the over P 1 billion for agricultural enhancement and productivity, infrastructure and health care, among others, they said.

“We are expressing our full support to His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his resolve to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court declaring the DAP as unconstitutional. With due respect to the High Court, we believe that their decision on the DAP failed to take into account the realities of the budget process. The decision will expectedly hinder the country’s growth as it will compel the government to undergo the same lengthy process before it can make use of public savings to address the urgent needs,” they further said.

“We, thus, hope that the Supreme Court will take a second look at this issue with an open mind and greater consideration of the realities that are happening on the ground. We commend the President for his eagerness to make government attuned to the needs of its citizens by exploring ways of making the budget process more responsive. His decision to appeal the Supreme Court ruling proves his readiness to stand for what he believes will benefit his people. That is the mark of a true leader. For that, we give him our support," the Negrense officials added.

Those who signed the manifesto aside from Marañon are Lacson are Second District Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva, Board Members Rolando Ponsica (First District), Salvador Escalante and Miller Serondo (Second District), Johnna Ko (Third District); Victor Javellana and Jose Benito Alonso (Fourth District) Alain Gatuslao and Renato Malabor (Fifth District), Helen Zafra and Pedro Zayco (Sixth District), Mark Cui (ABC); Mayors Ramon Torres (Bago City), Patrick Escalante (Cadiz City), Isidro Zayco (Kabankalan City), Juliet Marie Ferrer (La Carlota City), Alfredo Marañon III (Sagay City), Melecio Yap (Escalante City), Maria Gina Lizares (Acting Mayor, Sipalay City); Emmanuel Aranda (Binalbagan), Cicero Borromeo (Candoni), John Rey Tabujara (Cauayan), Hermilo Aguilar (Hinigaran), Ernesto Estrao (Hinobaan), Francis Malabor (Acting Mayor, Isabela), Lourdes Escalante (Manapla), Alberto Nicor (La Castellana), Andrew Montelibano (Murcia), Jose Maria Alonso (Pontevedra), Richard Jaojoco (Toboso), Romel Yogore Valladolid) and David Albert Lacson (E.B. Magalona).

Frank Carbon, president of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Roberto Magalona, president of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Negros also signed the manifesto as well Provincial Director Ma. Joy Marideth Madayag of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 26, 2014.

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