Malacañang wants P23B added to 2014 budget

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The year is drawing to a close, but Malacañang wants Congress to approve a P23-billion supplemental budget for 2014 that it said will be used for programs that were supposed to be funded by under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

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The Palace, determined to secure the additional budget, justified the proposal as being in accordance with the Supreme Court decision on DAP.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the High Court outlawed DAP principally because the Executive must seek congressional approval before spending untapped funds.

DAP is a spending program implemented in 2012 to accelerate government spending and stir economic growth by realigning the unused appropriations of agencies to the priority projects of the administration, including those proposed by the lawmakers.

“DAP critics have been saying that we should have not implemented DAP and instead asked Congress if we want something funded. Now, they are again questioning our move to ask Congress for funding. We have to remember that not all the projects under the DAP were implemented or finished. So by force of circumstances, we need to look for other projects and funding. And the way to do that, as the last means, is to go back to Congress and ask for supplemental budget,” Valte said in a radio interview.

The P23 billion is broken down to P5.08 billion for the stalled projects funded by DAP, P16.4 billion for new priority initiatives including reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in Yolanda-hit areas and Manila’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) next year and P1.85 billion for projects previously funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of lawmakers to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong City said the House of Representatives wants the P23 billion trimmed, noting that a supplemental budget should fill in a deficiency, not appropriate new allocation.

Opposition lawmakers have also warned that the supplemental budget would likely end up as a discretionary fund or pork barrel, thus vulnerable to abuse.

But Valte said the supplemental allocation will be judiciously spent even if the entire budget will not be used within the year.

“The spending will depend on the project itself. There can be multi-year projects funded by DAP,” she said.

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero earlier questioned Malacañang’s request for a supplemental budget, saying P137 billion was allocated for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of areas devastated by Yolanda.

“Why didn’t they just include it in the 2015 budget? Why resort to a supplemental budget?” Escudero, the chairperson of the Senate finance committee, said.

Valte clarified that the Palace it is not blaming the Supreme Court for the slowdown in the country’s economic growth which was attributed to reduced government spending.

“The administration is not blaming anybody here. We just said that the Supreme Court decision had an effect, but it doesn’t mean that blame is being apportioned. The ruling was something we had to contend with. We had to make sure that we were not in violation of any of the parameters laid down by the Supreme Court,” Valte said.

“Despite the slower than expected growth, we feel that the economy will continue to grow. We have set targets for ourselves. We don’t see any sign really of the slowdown,. It’s just the number that was less than expected, but it’s also not bad. We will continue to push the drivers that can make this happen. We will continue to put money in the correct place,” she added.

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5 Comments

  1. walangkabusugan mas masahol pa sa linta at buwaya nakakahiya declared as ilegal pero tuloy pa rin watch pinoy and cohorts nakasgisi sabi pera na nman ito enjoy

  2. Eliseo Jr. P. Tenza on

    I am wondering why this DAP is given to Senators and congressman.
    The Senators and Congressman are Law makers. They don’t need DAP to make laws.
    Not knowing what to do with this DAP, they fall prey to scam NGO’s. DAP promotes corruption.
    Who should be given DAP?
    I believe that DAP should be given to Ministers or Government Secretaries in charge of Government Departments. Like the Minister for Department of Higher Education. The Minister concentrates in increasing the required classrooms, increase the number and salaries of teachers, etc…
    The Ministry of Transportation, etc..
    They are in a position to know what is needed to be spent to improve the Ministries.
    What happened during the Macapagal administration, PDAF were used to buy the allegiance of Senators and congressman who umped party lines to obtain the PDAF.
    Now they are under investigation.
    The DAP was given to Senators in the impeachment trial of CJ Corona. The impression was it was given to buy the votes of the Senators to impeach..
    Let the Senators and Congressman make laws, and give the Ministers the funds to improve their Ministies.

  3. Look, the Palace needs money real quick to keep on its bribing spree. The legislathieves are still waiting for their Christmas gifts from PNoy.

  4. Yeah, the 23 billion will be given to tongress and senatongs as bonus for the job well done enriching themselves.

  5. This supplemental budget should not be passed at all. It is clearly one way for the Abnoy and his allies to go around the ruling of the Supreme Court. As the former Treasurer Leonor Briones emphatically said in a morning radio-tv interview, there is no need for a supplemental budget for 2014, when 2014 is about to end. It is getting obvious the palace and cohorts wants to make “palusot” again. The people and the legislators concerned with the people should block the passing of this P23 B.supplemental budget .
    This is outright BRIGANDRY or PAGNANAKAW!