• Abad: DAP not permanent executive program, will be stopped if spending already ‘accelerated’

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    Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad cleared on Wednesday that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds was a temporary program by the executive branch and would “stop” if government spending fully became “accelerated.”

    In the Poverty Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center, Abad told reporters that the DAP is only for acceleration of public spending to raise economic performance, which started in 2011 when the gross domestic product during the time was at a low 3.6 percent.

    “It will really stop eventually because the DAP is for ‘disbursement acceleration.’ In our first term in government, expenditure and spending boost was needed. GDP growth went down to 3.6 percent in 2011, and because we pushed the [DAP] spending program, the GDP went up to 6.8 percent,” Abad said in Filipino, referring to the rise of GDP from 3.6 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012.

    “Mismong World Bank at credit rating agencies, kinikilala nila na malaki ang natulong ng government spending…Pagdating ng punto na hindi na natin kailangang gawin ang ating disbursement acceleration, at dumating sa punto sa accelerated na, ay hindi na natin kakailanganin ang DAP [Even World Bank and credit rating agencies recognized the increased government spending. If it comes to a point that we don’t need disbursement acceleration and that spending is already accelerated, we would not need DAP anymore],” the budget secretary pressed.

    He said that the fund established by the executive branch to ramp up economic growth is “not permanent” and that they are just consuming the remaining DAP funds for calamity assistance for Typhoon Pablo and Zambonga incident. He also expressed that the DAP yielded real results with the country’s GDP growth skyrocketing among neighboring countries.

    When DAP for “economic boosting” is completely abolished, the budget secretary explained that there would be savings to be realigned with calamity funds in case the proposed calamity funds would not be enough for projects and operations concerning disasters, typhoons and other natural calamities.

    Earlier, Abad said that the remaining P14.4 billion DAP funds for 2013 would go to Typhoon Pablo victims in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, as well as displaced families and restoration in Zamboanga from the previous siege that happened in the region.

    The budget secretary also cleared that the DAP fund appropriations go “directly to implementing agencies, not to lawmakers.”

    “The lawmakers have projects that they wanted to fund. We, even before the issue came up, are ready to cooperate with legislators. But all projects go directly to implementing agencies. Ang masama, pag may nakikialam, dun nasisira ang project,” Abad said, emphasizing the need to focus on the wrongdoers and abusers of funds.

    KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO

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