President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday inaugurated a multimillion-peso bridge in Cagayan whose construction was partially funded under the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
In his speech, the President again reminded Filipinos of the benefits of the controversial stimulus package.
According to him, the bridge, which will speed up the flow of transportation and commerce in the province, was first envisioned in 1968. It was only under his administration that the government was able to raise P599.4 million for its construction.
“Halagang P599.4 million ang naging kabuuang budget para sa imprastrukturang ito. Ang inilaan namang P145 million para sa ikaapat na bahagi ng proyekto, nagmula po sa Disbursement Acceleration Program [The budget of this infrastructure was P559.4 million. The P145 million allotted for the fourth part of the project meanwhile, comes from the Disbursement Acceleration Program],” Aquino said.
“Hindi lang po natin nagawang ilaan sa mas episyenteng paraan ang pondo; dahil sa maayos na pangangasiwa ni Kalihim Babes Singson at ng DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways], ito po ay nakatipid pa tayo ng P33.7 million [We were not only able to efficiently spend government funds; but because of the good management of Secretary Rogelio "Babes” Singson and the DPWH, we were even able to save P33.7 million],” he added.
The Supreme Court declared DAP unconstitutional in July.
Aquino also praised the work of Liberal Party stalwart—the late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, who died a year ago.
The President said the bridge represents the dream of Robredo, and of his slain father, the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. after whom the bridge was named, because it is a symbol of the transformation happening in the country.
He said the Filipino people should follow the lead of the two former officials, specifically those who want to side on “the straight path.”
Presidential Legislative Liaison Officer Manuel Mamba, who hails from Cagayan, said the bridge will permanently connect his province to Kalinga and Apayao.
“More importantly, there will be easy access to education and medical facilities, and foremost, the quality of life of the residents will further improve,” Mamba said.