No stay order yet on DAP-A A +A
Friday, October 25, 2013
MANILA -- Supreme Court (SC) justices deferred on Friday their decision whether to stop the implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) while its constitutionality has yet to be resolved.
SC spokesperson Theodore Te did not provide the reason behind the deferment, although sources said the justices agreed to give the government, through the Office of the Solicitor General, a chance to file a comment to the consolidated petition against the DAP.
The justices also refused to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the DAP in a session early this month and instead directed the petitioners and the government to explain their positions in an oral argument on November 11 starting at 10 a.m.
The Court’s move was in response to the urgent motion of former Iloilo representative Augusto Syjuco Jr. assailing the government for its supposed plan to use DAP to aid victims of magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which recently struck Bohol and Cebu.
Syjuco said DAP is unconstitutional because it was not created by law. The funds were taken from slow moving projects that were not yet completed and it is being used to augment new budget allocations not approved by Congress.
“It can be said that all roads to hell are paved with good intentions. They may have intentions to undertake good actions but nevertheless, those actions are unconstitutional, illegal and thus, against the public interest,” the motion stated.
DAP was created in October 2011 to ramp up spending after slow disbursements -- which the government traced to efforts to plug fund leakages and policy loopholes -- caused the country’s economy to slow down to 3.6 percent that year.
It became controversial when Senator Jinggoy Estrada revealed in a privilege speech last September 25 that senators who voted for the ouster of then Chief Justice Renato Corona received around P50 million to P100 million in additional funds.
A number of congressmen also received at least P10 million under the same program.
Some P137.3 billion has been released by the Department of Budget and Management under the DAP as of October 1, of which nine percent (P12.3 billion) went to infrastructure projects identified by legislators. (Sunnex)