THE acronym DAP, when pronounced as individual letters, stands for Development Academy of the Philippines, the training center for government executives during the Marcos years that still exists today. When pronounced as a word, DAP assumes a new meaning as in Disbursement Acceleration Program that President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino 3rd and his Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has hijacked into a P170-billion infamy.
Aquino and Abad, who happen to be the government’s Big AA, have found themselves in an even worse predicament when the Supreme Court declared their DAP illegal.
The High Court could have asked: for delicadeza alone, how come the president and his budget manager failed to see something wrong in paying Hacienda Luisita P471.5 million of people’s money as just compensation for the family’s loss of their property to their tenants? The Cojuangcos, who are the president’s family, are the owners of said hacienda.
But didn’t the Cojuangco family distribute certificates of shares of stock to their farmers instead of farm lots? By making them part owners of Hacienda Luisita Inc., the stock corporation, the farmers were also to shoulder 37 percent of the Cojuangcos’ debts that could run to close to P2 billion.
On the other hand, DAP is a “government-owned and controlled corporation,” founded in 1973 by a group of government technocrats, among them Education Minister Onofre D. Corpuz and Leonides Virata, chairman of the Development Bank of the Philippines. It serves, among its functions, as training center for present and future government executives.
Due Diligencer is making the distinction here between the two DAPs to bring back the glory days attributed to the three letters as they used to be identified with an apolitical institution. DAP the training center has long been in existence and has, in fact, been engaged in public service for 41 years, while DAP the infamous program is the latest addition to some politicians’ ways of fooling the people.
Would it have been possible for the Aquino administration to prevent DAP from generating so much controversy that only a High Court ruling could stop its implementation?
Definitely, the answer is yes.
No case would have been filed against DAP had Aquino and Abad exercised more prudence in spending the people’s money by studying the legal implications. The two As could have consulted the Commission on Audit about DAP before they spent or allocated a single centavo of public funds.
Perhaps, Abad’s president did not like any kind of interference even from a constitutional body that is the COA simply because if he could treat members of the judiciary as if they were his subordinates, the more that he could also look down on COA chief Grace Pulido-Tan. After all, if he gave her the job, he was not expected to humble himself as to subject his DAP to post-audit by COA’s experienced auditors.
What happened to DAP was bound to happen because Aquino and Abad thought they were the best judge of what they had intended to do. Even if the High Court had ruled against them, they persisted on insisting on the legality of their DAP as if they could never commit any wrong.
But whether DAP stands for Development Academy of the Philippines or Disbursement Acceleration Program, here is one thing that could someday possibly happen. DAP the acronym wouldn’t be the monopoly of either the Tagaytay-based institution or the Big A&A’s DAP; it could even become a common word used in everyday conversation.
As a Pilipino word, DAP would mean allocating public funds by the executive department without authority from Congress, which would, of course, be illegal, and at the same time hiding such allocation from proper audit by the Commission on Audit.
But if the grammarians of the national language should protest the possible inclusion of DAP as a Pilipino word, then Due Diligencer would suggest that it could someday assume the same meaning as a word in the Tagalog dialect.
But either as a Pilipino or Tagalog word, DAP should be written in the lower case and, for emphasis, should be repeated, as in “dapdap”. When conjugated, “dapdapin, mo baby” would be better than simply saying “dapin mo, baby.” In English, though, “dap it, baby” would be more pleasant to the ear.
Perhaps, “dapdapin, mo baby,” may someday become the slogan of corrupt politicians such that when they allocate their pork barrel for some projects, the Tagalog phrase would be their magic words in hinting about “commissions.”