Sunday, 13 July 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, July 3, 2014

Supreme Court acknowledged Disbursement Acceleration Program has yielded positive results: Palace

The Supreme Court (SC) acknowledged that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has yielded positive results that enhanced the economy, but diverged in its interpretation of the Constitution on the fine details of budget execution, Malacañang said.

In a statement issued during Thursday’s press briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said, “We note that the Supreme Court affirmed the authority of the President as Chief Executive to implement the Disbursement Acceleration Program as a stimulus program to achieve economic growth and as an administrative system of prioritizing spending in the execution of the national budget.”

“It is in the interpretation of the Constitution and applicable laws on the fine details of budget execution that the views of the executive and the Supreme Court diverged,” he added.

Coloma further said that according to the Supreme Court, “the implementation of the DAP yielded undeniably positive results that enhanced the economic welfare of the country.”

The Court cited such infrastructure as roads, bridges, homes for the homeless, hospitals, and classrooms as among the “visible” results of the program.

Coloma meanwhile noted that in implementing the DAP, the executive branch “exercised good faith and due diligence, in accordance with existing laws and pertinent auditing rules and procedures."

“We will review the decision further to gain a more comprehensive understanding of its ramifications and study the appropriate legal options,” the Palace official said.

The High Tribunal on Wednesday declared in a 92-page decision that the DAP has violated Section 25 (5) Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

Among the acts violated were the cross-border transfer of savings of the Executive Branch to augment the appropriations of offices under the other branches of government; and the funding of projects, activities and programs not covered by any appropriation in the General Appropriations Act (GAA). PND (ag)

Palace says government stepping up efforts against hoarders

Malacañang has again warned hoarders and profiteers against actions that jack up the prices of basic commodities.

"Tinitiyak po ng ating pamahalaan na seryoso ang kampanyang ito at pananagutin ang mga lumalabag sa batas," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during Thursday’s press briefing in Malacañang.

It was reported earlier that police raided a warehouse in Marilao, Bulacan which was operated by individuals involved in illegal rice trading.

Coloma said he was informed by Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Secretary Francisco Pangilinan that the operation in Bulacan was part of the government’s action plan, as ordered by the President.

He also said that the President has instructed the Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization to step up efforts against hoarders and profiteers.

These operations will continue so long as there are people or groups trying to hoard goods to create an artificial increase in prices, he said.

Coloma further said that the government is continuously monitoring the prices of garlic amid reports that prices remain high despite the Department of Agriculture’s move to distribute more garlic to major markets in Metro Manila and other areas.

"Kaya nga tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pagtutok ng ating pamahalaan sa presyo at supply ng mga pangunahing food items, at buo ang kahandaan na usigin, panagutin sila, dalhin sila sa hustisya, at patawan ng karampatang parusa kapag napatunayang sila ay lumahok sa hoarding, profiteering at cartel-like activities," he said. PND (as)

Palace: no politics in implementation of bottom-up budgeting

The Palace has denied politicizing the government’s bottom-up budgeting, saying the scheme is meant to address poverty at the grassroots level.

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr said the basis for the scheme is the Philippine Development Plan, which gives priority to poverty eradication and the achievement of inclusive growth.

"Batid naman natin na ang grassroot communities natin ay pinapangasiwaan ng mga local government units, kaya ang bottom-up budgeting ay isang paraan kung paano mapapalahok sa makabuluhang paraan ang ating mga lokal na pamahalaan," he said.

Coloma was addressing concerns aired by UP Professor Leonor Briones and former budget secretary Benjamin Diokno that the scheme, which focuses on anti-poverty projects being carried out by local government units (LGUs) currently under the supervision of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, might be used to groom the administration’s candidate for the presidential election in 2016.

Bottom-up budgeting began during the term of the late interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo.

“Simula noon ay nakita natin ‘yung mas masiglang pagkilos ng mga local government units, ‘yung kanilang pagtalima sa mga citizen’s charter nila, ‘yung kanilang pagtiyak na ang kanilang ipinapatupad na programa ay mayroong partikular na layunin para itaas ang kalidad ng buhay ng kanilang mga mamamayan,” Coloma said. PND (as)