Aquino: DAP benefiting masses-A A +A
Thursday, October 10, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III defended the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), saying the masses are benefiting from this.
In an interview with reporters at the sidelines of the 23rd Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) Summit in Brunei Wednesday night, the Chief Executive cited some of the benefits the DAP mechanism has given to underprivileged Filipinos.
He challenged the DAP critics to go to any village in the province and most probably, they could see projects that were funded under this mechanism.
"And I think, baka mahina ‘yung nine out of 10 will say: ‘Aba, kung hindi dahil diyan hindi kami nagkaroon nitong footpath papunta sa poblacion; hindi kami nagkaroon nitong kalsada; hindi kami nagkaroon ng ganyang eskwela,’” he said.
Critics have been asking the President to completely abolish the controversial priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of legislators, as well as the DAP machinery of the executive branch owing to various allegations of corruption leveled against some public officials.
The President said he is aware of the criticisms being thrown at them by different sectors but he did not hear anyone making suggestions as to what the government should do about the thousands of scholars and ailing people who need to have access on these public funds.
"I'm just trying to be fair. And I think there’s a resource that can be gotten when you have people who are involved in local politics who would know the actual people who are in need, the actual sitios who are in need, their voices also have to be heard naman. We are Filipinos regardless of where we came from -- an urban center or in the most rural areas -- we are entitled to the same services," Aquino explained.
The President stressed that he did not want to argue with people who are protesting against the DAP but he would like them to consider the situation of the poor who are benefiting from this mechanism.
He also reiterated that the DAP has legal and constitutional bases, citing provisions stipulated under Executive Order 292 of the Administrative Code of 1987, which recognized the legislative powers of the executive at the time, and the several General Appropriations Acts passed by Congress under his administration.
Moreover, the President said he already gave his commitment to hold accountable anyone who may be found to have misused these public funds provided that the evidence gathered supports these accusations.
"Ulitin ko lang, 'yung nagkamali, hindi ba, nag-commit na ako e: naipon natin ang ebidensya, kakasuhan natin lahat, pasensyahan na lang," he said.
Meanwhile, in his regular press briefing on Thursday, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that DAP is a "successful" program of the government.
"DAP is a mechanism, how do you abolish a mechanism? That’s a question," he said.
DAP was launched in 2011 to accelerate government spending using state savings. (SDR/Sunnex)