Aquino hits those equating DAP to PDAF-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III slammed Wednesday those who were trying to equate the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of the lawmakers.
Addressing the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, Aquino wondered why this stimulus program that he announced almost two years ago with the same audience is being "vilified" now.
He said this stimulus program that helped boost the country's economy was named as DAP.
"For the past few weeks—nearly two years after I announced it—it has been unjustly and oddly vilified in the media. Perhaps I can repeat that for emphasis: Two years after I announced the program—nearly two years after the same media lauded government for its resourcefulness, and after two years worth of projects that have helped perhaps millions of our countrymen—it is receiving intense criticism from some quarters," he sad.
He admitted that he was perplexed to hear that some people equated the DAP with PDAF, when, simply, it was a program that strategically allocated funds to agencies that had already proven the capacity to implement projects and programs rapidly and efficiently.
"It is difficult to fathom how one could equate this program with PDAF. The only thing one could remotely relate to PDAF were those projects undertaken through consultation with our legislators," he said.
"After all, just as we engaged regional offices, local partners, and civil society in identifying projects, was it not also appropriate to hear the proposals of the elected officials of the land? Taking this into account, such projects by the legislators made up a mere nine percent of the entire program. Why, then, is the DAP being made an issue?"
The President noted that the criticism of DAP also coincides with the criticism about the bonuses granted by the Social Security System to its board members and in the reforms going on in the Bureau of Customs.
"Since I am in a room full of journalists, perhaps I can leave it to you to connect the dots: All of these attacks came after plunder cases, among others, that were filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against a few well-known politicians," he said.
Plunder charges were filed against 38 people, including three senators - Jinggoy Estrda, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Ramon Revilla Jr. - for their supposed involvement in the pork barrel scam.
Aquino said the government shares the people's outrage against those who stole money from state coffers through PDAF.
"Plunderers should be taken to account," he stressed. (SDR/Sunnex)