We know that President Noynoy Aquino has been arguing that Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is legal. According to the Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, “DAP is a stimulus package under the Aquino administration designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth.” DAP is sourced from “savings” or unspent appropriations and “unprogrammed funds”.
President Aquino stresses out to the public that DAP and PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) are entirely different. He defended that DAP funds benefits Filipinos through projects while PDAF used fake NGOs for graft and corruption by some other government officials.
The Philippines is a democratic country which follows the three branches of government: Executive, Judiciary and Legislative.
These branches have been formulated for a simple reason and that is for the leaders to not abuse their power. The three are all interconnected, but all are independent. The Malacañang (executive) disagrees with the interpretation of the Supreme Court (judicial) that DAP is unconstitutional. Acquiring 13-0 votes suggesting the unlawfulness of DAP, Malacañang filed a motion for reconsideration.
If the president wants to control the law, it may seem that President Noynoy is changing the system – which can be viewed as autocratic or a partial dictatorship. His move is contrary to what his parents, former President Cory Aquino and Senator Benigno Aquino, have done to achieve democracy in the Philippines.
In the speech that the President has delivered to the public nation, he stated that DAP corrects the flaws of the country’s budgeting system and fastens the priority project of the government. He implied in his speech that the Supreme Court ruling delays the projects ergo making the DAP the quickest way for the projects to progress. The speech clearly suggests that President Aquino is undermining the power of the Supreme Court and does not respect the law. For a nation, it would be tough to follow a leader who has broken the rules of the nation he leads.
We may never know if President Aquino’s intention to defend DAP is for the greater good or if he does it to serve his personal interests. The point here is, however greatly DAP can benefit the nation, it is still considered unconstitutional. Would it be better to just have charter change if the leaders keep clashing? Our country spends too much time arguing rather taking dynamic actions.
Written by: Janine Daquio
Edited by: Katrina Pulvera