Drilon’s DAP fund used for Iloilo convention center-A A +A
Friday, October 18, 2013
CONSTRUCTION of the P500-million Iloilo Convention Center is ongoing at the Megaworld property at the old Iloilo airport site, signaling that it’s all systems go for Iloilo City in hosting of two important Ministerial Meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Council (Apec) in 2015.
Apec Committee on Food Security and on Transport Security was slated to be conducted in Iloilo City, and more than 2,000 representatives from 21 countries in Asia and the Pacific rim, including the United States and Japan, are expected to attend.
Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the construction of the convention center was made possible by Senate President Franklin Drilon, who used his P100 million taken from the funds of President Benigno Aquino III’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The amount was given to the Department of Public Works and Highways to start the construction on October 15, through a public bidding won by Manila-based Hilmarcs Construction, also the builder of the five-storey Iloilo Provincial Capitol.
Mabilog said that DAP is based on the President's constitutional power to realign funds. The same power is also granted to the Chief Justice and heads of all Constitutional and Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG) such as the Judiciary, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections, and the Office of the Ombudsman.
He said that DAP is a program created to improve government spending, and is entirely different from the Priority Development Assistance Fund or the pork barrel, which is already deleted from the 2014 national budget.
The Supreme Court will soon rule on the constitutionality of DAP based on the petition of several cause-oriented groups and some legislators who wanted to abolish it.