• Promised info on the DAP gone with the wind?


    On July 25, 2014, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad promised to give the Senate Committee on Finance a list of impounded funds per government agency pooled for the Disbursement Acceleration Program, and the status of the projects or programs where DAP funds were used.

    More than a month has elapsed and Abad still has to submit the needed data. He provided in a jiffy data on the pork used by three senators for several years so why is he taking time giving the info on more recent activities? There’s only one possible reason for this– full disclosure will give the lie to the administration’s claim that the DAP had been beneficial to the people.

    Come to think of it, why isn’t the finance committee chair, Sen. Chiz Escudero breathing hard on Abad to come out with the promised data? Sure, there is a political dictum that “the friend of my friend is my friend” but this shouldn’t stand in the way of an honest-to-goodness inquiry in aid of legislation. Right off the bat, the Senate inquiry on the DAP was already called a “zarzuela” meant to get President BS Aquino and Abad off the hook after the Supreme Court had declared portions of it unconstitutional.

    What’s known so far is that P237.7 billion had been impounded from “slow-moving” projects funded by the national budget. The pooled amount was then classified as “savings,” placed under DAP and used by the Aquino administration even for projects not contained in the national budget as well as for projects outside the domain of the executive department.

    Abad contended that the DAP was a spending reform measure for speeding up public expenditure to catalyze economic growth and benefit the people.

    “Because we implemented DAP without pomp and circumstance, most of the public are unaware that some of the services we’ve been delivering were made possible by DAP,” Abad said at the Senate hearing.

    The public might share the same sentiment if they were informed on what were the “slow-moving projects” that were the source of the DAP and how the ordinary people were benefited. I wonder if the untold story about the DAP would show that the people would have benefited more had the original projects not been suspended or cancelled.

    The claim of the Aquino administration that it wants projects to move faster rather than keep public funds lying idle is proved false by the fact that of the P237.7 billion impounded from the budget, the proposed projects needed only P167.6 billion, of which only P144 billion was released. I thought the administration doesn’t want funds to stay idle but that’s what has happened to the more than P93 billion that remains of the DAP.

    The men of Malacañang may be slow in informing the people on the nuts and bolts of the DAP but expect them to move with the speed of light in dumping the three impeachment complaints against BS Aquino. Don’t be fooled by the decision of the House Committee on Justice declaring the complaints sufficient in form. Expect the committee to throw out the complaints next week “for insufficiency in substance.” Volcanoes will erupt in Malacañang if the committee prolongs the debates on this issue.

    I heard Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Justice, say on the 9TV (formerly Solar News TV) program “news:PH” hosted by veteran broadcaster Pia Hontiveros that his being an ally and party mate of the President won’t affect his treatment of the impeachment complaints. Yeah, just like this alliance didn’t affect his approval in record time of the voluminous impeachment complaint against former Chief Justice Renato Corona!

    Incidentally, several points of order were raised at the committee hearing on the impeachment complaints’ sufficiency in form. Veteran parliamentarians know that to be declared out of order is a supreme humiliation to self-respecting lawmakers. I had never heard parliamentarians like Senators Nene Pimentel, Kit Tatad, Bert Romulo, Tito Sotto and Kiko Pangilinan and Congressmen Ronaldo Zamora, Simeon Datumanong, the late Sonny Escudero, Rodolfo Albano and Manuel “Nonoy” Garcia move to declare any of their colleagues out of order.

    Speaking of Rudy Albano of Isabela and Nonoy Garcia of Davao City, I remember that during the Regular Batasan, they used to be sent by Majority Leader Jose Rono to talk with the minority. The opposition leaders, among them Nene Pimentel, Monching Mitra, Louie Villafuerte and Bono Adaza couldn’t get along with the No. 2 man of the rules committee, Arturo Pacificador of Antique. However, they found bosom buddies Rudy and Nonoy more reasonable and more diplomatic. No wonder Rudy and Nonoy were warmly welcomed to the new majority in the post-EDSA legislature.



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    1. Ang saving ay may magkaibang pakahulugan. Una, kung personal na pera or aking pag-aaring saving ay maaaring ko gamitin, kung kailan at saan ko gastusin-walang pweding pumugil sa akin. Sa kabilang banda ang pera ng gobyerno ay pag-aari ng taong bayan, na pinamahalaan ng mga kinatawan gobyerno. Para maalagaan at matiyak na maayos ang paggamit ng pera ng mamamayan meron ito mga patakaran na kailangan sundin. Ang bawat ahensya ng gobyerno ng nagsusubmit ng kanilang budget para sa loob ng isang taong. Kung ganun ang budget na ito ay nakalaan na gamitin sa takdang panahon (1 year). Ang DAP ayon mismo sa kanila ay pera ng ahensya na hindi pa nagamit. Paanong magagamit ay sa kalahatian palang ng taon ay kinukuha na dahil saving daw at/o hindi na kayang ipatupad ang proyekto. Paano magagamit agad ang budget kung ito ay late na dumarating sa ahensya? Pakatandaan, ang koleksyon ng taunang budget ay nagsisimula lamang sa buwan ng January at ang inaasahang papasok na budget ay makukumpleto ang koleksyon sa unang 2 quarter lamang. Kung ganun sa 2rd or 3rd quarter na mahahawakan ng ahensya ang budget na sa kanila ay nakalaan at dito pa lamang makakapagsimula ng bidding dahil kailangan sa bidding ang certification na available na ang budget sa planong proyekto. Wala at imposibleng magkaroon ng budget, dahil ang requested budget ay may tiyak na project na paglalaanan, dahil kung wala ay hindi ito ia approved. Kung sakaling ang pundo ay huling dumating maaari pading ipagpatuloy ang project kailangan lamang na dumaan sa mga procedure na kailangan (continuing appropriation?) Mali at walang saving dapat, dahil kung titipirin mo ang budget, ito ay nangangahulugan na tinitipid mo ang planong serbisyong publiko. Ang style ni aBADPnoy itinuring na pribadong pag-aari ang pera ng bayan, kaya walang kinikilalang restriction mula sa batas. Minsan sinabi ni Drilon na sa pamamagitan ng legislation ay iaayos ang kahulugan ng “savings”, hindi bagat pag-amin na problema ang tinatawag na…

    2. P. Akialamiro on

      It is unfortunate to have a sitting president who wants to be ‘stronger’ than he is supposed to and have around him Abad, Drilon and Belmonte, etc. It has come to this point when even The New York Times has a negative impression of the undoings of Malacanang. Come to think of it, this is just the beginning. More ripple negative effects are coming out of this editorial. I won’t be surprised if some people around this president will be singing: “Please release, let me go………”!?

    3. A-BAD what is the delay in releasing the list? You have enough time to clean up the list to your satisfaction. Or, are you afraid that you will be caught doctoring the list, which is offense.

    4. Ang mga TRAPOs na residente ng Congresso ay puro pansariling kapakanan ang tunay na dahilan kung kaya sila’y kapit-tuko sa pwesto. Lahat na politician sa ating bansa mula barangay chairmen up to Malacanang –cabinet officials– ay mga mandarambong. Karamihan sa kanila ay matatalino ngunit kapag nahalal na, ay nalalasing sa kapangyarihan at salapi. Ang yaman ng ating bansa kung wasto lamang ang ating mga lider sa pag-ugit sa kanilang tungkolin ay hindi tayo maiiwan ng mga kapit-bansa nating sa Asia. Ngunit dahil nga sa sagad na katiwalian sa halos lahat ng sangay o agencia ng ating gobyerno mas masahol pa tayo kaysa Banglasdesh. Muli ang dahilan ay mga politicong sobra kagahaman sa kurakotan. Ewan kung tayo ay may pag-asa pang magbago mula sa patuoloy na sistemang ito ng ating gobyerno.

    5. Its always strange that no one gets held accountable for anything. They can say what they want & then its left at that. We need to vote these people out of office & get in people who will do the right thing, then investigate those that didnt do their jobs & hold them accountable, get it put into law if it isnt already there. & for any senators or anyone of importance when jailed why special jails for them, they arnt special, they are worse than the normal criminal as they are supposed to be above reproach. Also as soon as they are charged with anything they should be suspended from office. They can always be reinstated shoult they be found not guilty.

    6. What can you expect from a senator like Escudero? He has already enjoyed his share of the DAP by vacationing to Paris with his actress girlfriend, and anomalously posting the trip on social media. Maybe he is asking for more of the people’s money now that he is getting married again that is why he is adamant to push Abad into submitting the necessary documents or he is afraid that those documents may contain incriminating evidence that will show how much money he has recieved from the DAP.

    7. armando flores on

      Aquino, abad, drilon et al. are destroying incriminating documentary evidence and they have enough time to do this before they leave malacanang. It would not be surprising that one day, malacanang would burn and declare all financial records raze to the ground. Expecting them to come out with the information as to the details of those PDAF, DAP and Malampaya Fund Disbursements is a sweven.

    8. gabriela silang on

      if you are still hoping that abad will keep his promise in the senate hearing, you are dead wrong! abad is not that foolish to submit documents ensuring his and aquino’s jail term. of course you wont sign your death warrant. as to the senators, oh forget it! it’s all for a show!