EVERY day, thousands of Manila Times readers send in comments about the news stories and columns. Some even make comments about what they read in the other papers.
The subject of the columns and stories that get the most responses and comments for about a year now is the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
There are always those who maintain that President Aquino and Secretary Abad are absolutely correct–that without the DAP the Philippine economy would not have grown the way it has to become one of the world’s engine of growth.
A few of those who defend the Aquino regime obviously belong to Malacañang’s professional letter-writing regiment. These are the ones who unjustly accuse authors of anti-DAP exposes, and even those who send comments and letters supporting the authors, of being paid hacks–bayaran–of former President G. M. Arroyo.
But most of the pro-administration comments are obviously from sincere citizens who just honestly believe in the explanations made by their idol, the President, and his men.
The opposite comments and letters are also by patriotic citizens, some of whom are experts in government finance and governance.
The following exchange, which we publish below unedited, is typical.
The opening salvo is by an Aquino-Abad critic.
“August 2, 2014 at 11:49 am
“How can Abad say that DAP he created was introduced as a reform measure to counteract gov’t underspending which was a result to inherent weaknesses in the budget system. Abad basically contradicts himself on this statement to justify DAP- there were no savings in the first place. because the budget lined up for the project like the renovation for the dilapidated worst NAIA I (Manila Airport) has been suspended, Dredging of Laguna Lake that cause major flooding in Metro Manila and Quezon City and Marikina was suspended by this President and rehabilitation of gov’t hospitals for poor Filipinos. like Phil Eye Center. Phl kidney Center, Phl heart Center etc where many poor Filipinos can get affordable care if needed, this President wanted it sold thru his PPP and if all gov’t hospital are privatized, the poor who depend on those gov’t hospitals would not be able to get the medical care they need because they cannot .afford private hospitals.”
A DAP, Aquino-Abad admirer replied to aces.
“August 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm
“The purpose of DAP is on the website since 2011. Didn’t people read this?? The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is a stimulus package under the Aquino administration designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth. This covers high-impact budgetary programs and projects which will be augmented out of the savings generated during the year and additional revenue sources. The DAP was approved by the President on October 12, 2011, upon the recommendation of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) and the Cabinet Clusters.
“The DAP was conceptualized in September 2011 and introduced in October 2011, in the context of the prevailing underspending in government disbursements for the first eight months of 2011 that dampened the country’s economic growth. Such government intervention was needed because key programs and projects, most notably public infrastructure, were moving slowly. The need to accelerate public spending was also brought about by the global economic situation as well as the financial toll of calamities in that year. While the economy has generally improved in 2012 and 2013, the use of DAP was continued to sustain the pace of public spending as well as economic expansion.”
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