President Benigno Aquino 3rd maintained that his administration will not cut the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Speaking to reporters, the President defended again the use of government savings through the DAP.
He cited a Cabinet policy of “use it or lose it” when it came to funds allotted for different agencies.
“There is no reason for everybody to be delayed if there is an opportunity to accelerate that project which was approved by Congress, which they found merit with and if we can accelerate the benefits that will accrue to the people, why delay it?,” he said
“So why lose and go to the whole process of having it approved again in a subsequent year?,” Aquino asked.
According to the President, the savings used for the program were from projects already approved by lawmakers.
“It is not a unilateral decision on our part, we can only fund from savings items that have already been… approved by Congress. We are not inventing a new budgetary line,” he said
“So, it’s not that we forced any savings on anybody,” Aquino said
But, the President admitted that some savings were coursed through lawmakers who might have given them to questionable non-government organizations.
For instance, he cited happened to see a document showing that a lawmaker requested P5 million allocated for “anti-dengue” medicine.
But President Aquino refused to name the lawmaker.
“So I was curious… I talked to our doctor, and I asked: ‘Is there such a thing as an anti-dengue medication?’ [The] vaccine is still being developed for the all four varieties,” Aquino said
That made him wonder why nobody among those who were aware of the project ever asked: “Is there such a thing [that]you take one or two shots, you are cured of dengue.”
“There is no such thing as anti-dengue medication. So I questioned [it]. How come no one caught this?,” Aquino said.
“It was coursed through a legislator, request of the legislator then coursed through an LGU afterwards,” he added
Meanwhile, to help minimize fund misuse, Aquino said that the 2014 budget would specify the expected outputs of government agencies. CATHERINE S. VALENTE