So what the heck if DAP is unconstitutional?

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Ej Lopez

Ej Lopez

Does the existence of the Development Acceleration Program (DAP) make it any better or worse now that it has been declared unconstitutional? As a matter of principle, the Supreme Court’s declaration of its “illegality” makes its operators culpable of violating the Constitution. This declaration by the highest court opens a can of worms, which has caught the awareness of concerned citizens and in effect, nullified whatever gains may have been mustered by this “misspending.” What was previously perceived by many as a trusted leadership had in a way been muddled by the fund misuse, especially if we go into the details of this alleged (mis)spending.

Regardless of the nobleness of intentions, it does not make a “Robin Hood” of this administration, considering that the amount of funds diverted should be enough to feed the poor for the whole term of the president. Whether it was done in good faith is beside the point; but even this reasoning comes under a cloud of doubt considering that these are the same public funds that caused the ouster of the people who were perceived as the president’s political foes.

The contested amount of at least P140 billion is a sum that every government revenue-earning agency would dream of making ing, an amount coming from the hard-earned income of our people who assume that their taxes are conscientiously disbursed by the leaders to whom we have entrusted the future of our nation.

It is not a question of the act being done in good faith or not but, contrary to the principles of transparency, the expenses were revealed only after the issues on park barrel surfaced.


Regardless of the goodness of intentions (which many doubt), the fact remains that this hard-earned money contributed by the people in the form of taxes was not properly appropriated. What was illegally done and reviled before by the people in power has now become legal and done in “good faith” under their watch.

Car sales surge, traffic to worsen
Newspaper headlines said automobile sales zoomed by an astonishing 38 percent in June from May. This meant record sales of 19,622 units for June alone, compared to 14,240 units in the same month last year. Primarily, the surge was brought about by the robust demand for cars in response to promotional sales and other perks offered if you bought a new car.

On the one hand, such phenomenon may be brought about by a strong economy and possibly increased savings in every household. Better still, it may have been due to stability in people’s respective jobs, which is a reflection of economic stability. On the other hand, the existence of liberal car financing programs offered by financing institutions is another factor for the increased sales. Imagine that at present, one can own a brand new car with a down payment plan of P100,000 or less. Many people would avail of this plan and throw all caution to the wind on whether they can afford the monthly amortizations.

Unlike before, when owning a car meant belonging to the upper strata of society, which was why there was no such thing as heavy traffic during that time. But with the onset of liberal financing programs, where even the lower middle class can afford to shell out money to buy a car through a financing plan, heavy traffic has become a fixture in our everyday life. It is hard to tell if this is good for society or not, because in the long run, the benefit that should have been enjoyed by an individual in having his own vehicle is defeated.

This phenomenon, however, is not necessarily an indication of an increased standard of living of the people, but rather a situation in which people are spending more than what they are earning. This is a situation where one person engages in deficit spending, leading to negative savings. This kind of phenomenon is reflective of what is happening to our economy where the government engages in deficit spending, where we spend more than what we are earning.

The same kind of situation seems to affect the real estate business, particularly in condominium sales. The condominium market appears to have become saturated at this point. Whereas previously you won’t even think of owning a condo unit because of the exorbitant price, now it has become affordable even to the upper C crowd. This type of residence has grown and sprung like mushrooms in the metropolis, leading to depressed prices. But it should be noted that owning such property does not end in its purchase; you still have to contend with the other costs that accompany it. Liberal financing programs are likewise the culprit for why people have shifted to condominium living. Again because of the amenities that go with owning one, the amount of money that is supposed to go to personal savings is compromised, which in its totality is bad for the economy.

For comments, e-mail: doc.ejlopez@gmail.com

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