The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) of the Aquino administration is misleading and does not guarantee economic growth, a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition led by business tycoon Danding Cojuangco said on Saturday.
Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City made the criticism a day after thousands of protesters in Ayala Avenue called for the scrapping of the legislative discretionary fund or the Priority Development Assistance Fund was well as the DAP program which is funded by the savings and used by the President to grant allocation for social services initiatives.
If the government really intends to pump-prime the national economy with measurable results, Gatchalian underscored that the Regional Development Council (RDC) should have been consulted in identifying sectoral investment projects that would guarantee the sensible outflow of funds.
“A ‘spending acceleration mechanism’ like DAP should not be a bonanza approach. The DBM should exercise prudence in dispensing people’s money. The logic seems misleading if DBM argues that DAP is to fast-track disbursements for economic growth,” Gatchalian said in a statement, alluding to the Department of Budget and Management.
The DAP was released to lawmakers after the May 2012 conviction of former chief justice Renato Corona of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution before the Senate impeachment court for untruthful asset declarations.
“Let us say that the DAP is aboveboard and sanctioned by Congress as part of the President’s ‘special purpose fund’ and assume that there’s really a need to push economic growth, but is it really sensible to make random spending. DAP would be money-down-the-drain since it is not anchored to any local effort that is related or integrated with any development blueprint. I doubt if ever it had an effect on the GDP,” Gatchalian pointed out, referring to the Gross Domestic Product.
Offhand spending, Gatchalian argued, defeats the purpose of accelerated growth.
“I believe that the RDCs are the right channels where to course the DAP since it is the RDC which manages and directs all socio-economic development efforts in each region,” the Valenzuela lawmaker added in closing. LLANESCA T. PANTI