Palace to request for supplemental budget for projects affected by Supreme Court decision on DAP
The Executive branch will ask for a supplemental budget from Congress to ensure that projects affected by the Supreme Court's decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) would not be halted, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Monday.
"Doon naman po sa mga nag-aalala tungkol sa mga programang pinahihinto na, dahil kailangan nating sundin ang kautusan ng Korte Suprema, huwag kayong mag-alala. Babalik kami sa Kongreso at hihingi ng supplemental budget upang maituloy ang inyong mga benepisyo," the President said in a televised address from Malacañang regarding the DAP.
The President defended the DAP in his address, saying he did not violate the law, especially the Constitution, in carrying out the DAP.
He argued that Book VI, Chapter 5, Section 39 of the 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines, allows him to transfer savings to other projects that benefit the people.
His government began implementing the DAP in 2011, he said, noting that the program is good and it truly helped the people through legitimate government projects.
Although the government only had meager funds when it assumed office in 2010, the President said, the effective use of government savings enabled his administration to solve the lack of classrooms in public schools.
Through the DAP, the Department of Education was able to eliminate the backlog of 66,800 classrooms that it inherited from the previous administration, he said.
He also cited that the sitio electrification program was successfully implemented through the efficient use of savings.
Because of the speedy and efficient implementation of the power project, he said, the National Electrification Administration requested more funds to light up an additional 2,110 sitios, aside from the 4,053 sitios that were initially targeted.
"Sa tulong ng DAP, naipagkaloob ang 1.264 billion pesos para matapos ang kabuuang 6,163 sitios noong 2012. ‘Yon po ay sa bilang na 36,000 na sitio na kailangang pailawan," he said.
The President said his administration will file a motion for reconsideration at the Supreme Court.
He also asked members of the High Court to help his government carry out its reform measures for the benefit of the people.
President Aquino finally broke his silence on the DAP issue and delivered a thorough explanation since parts of the DAP were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. PND (as)
President Aquino to appeal Supreme Court's decision on DAP
President Benigno S. Aquino III said his administration will file a motion for reconsideration at the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAF), appealing to members of the High Court to help his government ease the burden of the people.
In a televised address to the nation on Monday evening, the President defended the implementation of the DAP, saying it does not violate the Constitution.
He cited Book VI, Chapter 5, Section 39 of the 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines, which he said allows the President to transfer savings to other projects.
"Nakita naman po ninyo, na ayon sa batas na ito, hayagang binibigyan ng kapangyarihan ang Pangulo na maglipat ng savings sa ibang proyekto. Walang nakasaad na limitado sa isang departamento o sangay ng gobyerno ang paglilipat ng savings. Sa simpleng salita po: Hindi tayo lumabag sa batas nang ipatupad natin ang DAP," President Aquino said.
He said the Supreme Court has much to consider that it may better clarify its decision regarding the DAP, and hopefully realize its decision’s negative effect on the country.
"Iaapela natin ang desisyon ng Korte Suprema. Magagawa po natin ito sa pamamagitan ng paghahain ng Motion for Reconsideration para magbigay-daan sa mas buo at mas kumpletong pagsipat sa ating mga batas,“ he said.
The President further noted that his government does not want the two equal branches of government to go head-to-head, and eventually need congressional intervention.
He expressed his belief that, like his administration, the majority of the members of the Supreme Court want only the best for the Filipino people.
"Sa mga kagalang-galang na Mahistrado ng Korte Suprema: Tulungan n’yo naman kaming tulungan ang ating mga kababayan. Balikan niyo sana ang ginawa ninyong desisyon nang may pagsasaalang-alang sa mga inilatag kong paliwanag ngayong gabi,” he said.
“Umaasa po ang sambayanan sa makatuwiran ninyong pagtugon. Umaasa akong kapag nakita ninyo ang mga isusumite naming argumento ukol sa batas at sa ekonomiya, magkakaisa tayo, at titibay ang kapasidad ng buong pamahalaan na isulong ang interes ng sambayanan."
He said that in the comings days, his Cabinet, as well as some beneficiaries of the DAP, will provide more information about the program.
In his address, President Aquino denied that the DAP is similar to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
"Muli kong ididiin: Mabuti ang DAP. Tama ang intensyon. Tama ang pamamaraan. Tama ang resulta. Mga boss, ipinapangako ko sa inyo: Hindi ko hahayaang pahabain pa ang pagdurusa ninyo, kung ngayon pa lang, ay kaya na nating ibsan ito," he said. PND (as)
President Aquino says Supreme Court overlooked legal basis for DAP implementation
President Benigno S. Aquino III said he was surprised that the Supreme Court (SC) did not take into account the legal basis for the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
In a 25-minute nationwide address on Monday evening, the President said the High Tribunal had overlooked the legal basis of the DAP – Book VI, Chapter 5, Section 39 of the 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines, which he noted is in effect, “even until now”.
The section states: “—Except as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act, any savings in the regular appropriations authorized in the General Appropriations Act for programs and projects of any department, office or agency, may, with the approval of the President, be used to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations…”
“Ang epektibong paggugol ng pondo ay hindi lang po dikta ng aking konsensya, malinaw din pong nakasaad sa iba’t ibang probisyon ng isang batas na ang pangalan ay Administrative Code of 1987, at tinalakay ang paggamit ng savings,” the Chief Executive explained.
“Nagulat nga po kami nang makita naming hindi naisaalang-alang sa desisyon ng Korte Suprema ang ginamit naming batayan ng DAP. Paano kaya nila nasabing unconstitutional ang aming paraan ng paggastos gayong hindi man lang nila tinalakay ang aming pinagbatayan? Hanggang sa mga sandaling ito, umiiral pa rin ang Section 39 ng Administrative Code, at ang marami pang ibang bahagi nito,” he added.
However, President Aquino pointed out that he is not declaring war against the magistrates of the High Tribunal.
“Ang mensahe ko po sa Korte Suprema: Ayaw nating umabot pa sa puntong magbabanggaan ang dalawang magkapantay na sangay ng gobyerno, kung saan kailangan pang mamagitan ang ikatlong sangay ng gobyerno,” said the President.
President Aquino said that Malacañang will appeal the High Court’s decision, even as the magistrates voted 13-0, declaring some of the sections of DAP as unconstitutional.
“Magagawa po natin ito sa pamamagitan ng paghahain ng Motion for Reconsideration para magbigay-daan sa mas buo at mas kumpletong pagsipat sa ating mga batas,” he stressed.
He ended his message with the reiteration that the DAP’s intentions, processes and results were correct, as well as a promise.
“Mga boss… Hindi ko hahayaang pahabain pa ang pagdurusa ninyo, kung ngayon pa lang, ay kaya na nating ibsan ito,” he said. PND (ag)
Government on full alert for Typhoon ‘Glenda’
The government is on full alert as Typhoon ‘Glenda’ is expected to make landfall in the Bicol region later on Tuesday, a Palace official has said.
“The government has been placed on full alert and has intensified preparations to achieve zero casualties during the height of Typhoon ‘Glenda’, which is expected to make landfall in the Albay-Sorsogon area later today,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement emailed to members of the Malacañang Press Corps on Tuesday.
Coloma assured the public that the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) has mobilized its regional and local disaster risk reduction management units to minimize casualties.
“The regional and local disaster risk reduction management units will undertake all the necessary actions to ensure the safety all our citizens, especially those living in, near or within the danger zones or high-risk areas,” he said.
He also advised the public to monitor the advisories from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA).
“We enjoin our countrymen to remain vigilant and to heed the call of the national government and local government units on safety and precautionary measures until the projected exit of Typhoon ‘Glenda’ from the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday, July 18,” Coloma said. PND (ag)
World Bank creates an award after Filipino
The World Bank (WB) has created an award and named it after the late Filipino manager of the World Bank Institute’s leadership program, Dr. Jose Edgardo “Ed” Campos.
WB President Dr. Jim Yong Kim made the announcement during the “Daylight Dialogue: The Good Governance Challenge” at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace.
Dr. Kim said the WB employs nearly 400 Filipino citizens, who constitute the sixth largest nationality represented at the WB group.
“Ed was a pillar in the governance and public sector community within the bank. He held a number of high-profile positions, most recently, as manager for the World Bank Institute’s leadership program,” he said.
He recalled that Campos always strived to make a difference, taking several years away from his bank career to return and work for the Philippine government, where he helped secure the passage of the 2003 Government Procurement Reform Act.
“In his memory, I am pleased to announce that the new governance global practice will create the Jose Edgardo Campos Award. This award will honor bank staff who follow in Ed’s footsteps by returning to their countries of origin to advance the cause of governance reform,” Dr. Kim said.
Campos had served as adviser to the World Bank Institute’s vice president on governance and political economy and practice manager for governance.
Prior to this, he served as governance advisor for Bangladesh at the World Bank in Dhaka, lead public sector specialist and coordinator of the Bank’s Governance and Anticorruption Thematic Group.
He also worked at the Asian Development Bank as a senior economist, providing advice and guidance on governance-related activities and programs.
Back in 2010, he served as senior strategy adviser for public sector reforms at the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), where he helped develop and implement a strategy to support efforts to reform government procurement and tax administration.
In 1996, he co-authored the book, The Key to the Asian Miracle: Making Shared Growth Credible, which won the Charles Levine Prize for best book on comparative politics the following year.
Campos passed away last April 10 in Dunn Loring, Virginia, USA. He is survived by his wife, Rica and six children. PND (ag)
President Aquino spells out projects funded by DAP
President Benigno S. Aquino III said more than half of the P144 billion released under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) went to three critical agencies – the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the National Housing Authority (NHA).
In his speech during the “Daylight Dialogue: The Good Governance Challenge” held in Malacañang Palace on Tuesday, the President said the New Central Bank Act of 1993 mandated a P50 billion recapitalization for the Central Bank of the Philippines.
He said that during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos, an initial capitalization of P10 billion was provided but there remained a P40 billion deficit when he assumed office in 2010.
The administration filled that deficit through P10 billion under the General Appropriations Act, and P30 billion under the DAP, he said.
"This has empowered our Central Bank to perform its functions fully, for the benefit of our economy. Of course, under the able stewardship of Governor Tetangco, this will be achieved," the President said.
The DPWH meanwhile received more than P33 billion in DAP funds, which were used to construct and rehabilitate roads, bridges, flood control projects, and other critical infrastructure across the country, he noted.
"This helped boost the growth and effectiveness of industry; it made it easier for tourists to reach favored destinations; it helped make the Philippines a more attractive destination to investors. This, we did under the DAP," he said.
The DAP also funded mass housing projects, he said, adding that through programs implemented by the NHA, 700 homes in safe areas were provided for former residents of North Triangle, Quezon City.
Some 21,175 housing units have been completed and 3,742 units are still under construction, for families living in danger zones in the National Capital Region, he said.
The President reported that in Iloilo, families living along the Iloilo River benefited from 1,000 housing units, while 2,498 housing units were built for the uniformed personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Under the DAP, he said, P11 billion went to giving these Filipinos safe homes.
According to the President, DAP funds were also used to renovate hospitals and health centers, upgrade their equipment, and hire nurses and midwives for deployment to areas where they were needed most.
He noted that the program funded the expansion of the conditional cash transfer program, the administration's flagship project, bolstered livelihood projects, preserved key tourism and heritage sites, and strengthened the country's weather forecasting abilities.
The DAP was also used to improve the facilities of state universities and colleges, and empower the youth to join the workforce through the Training for Work Scholarship Program.
He further said that DAP funds were spent to completely settle debts that past administrations had incurred.
He said his administration released P3.46 billion to pay the balance of unpaid GSIS premium payments.
"These unpaid premiums had kept almost 800,000 teaching and non-teaching personnel in the Department of Education from receiving their just benefits," President Aquino said.
"Now, these personnel can receive their pensions—and access not only the full benefits due them, but other benefits as well, including loans for their children’s education."
The Chief Executive assured that only a minimal portion of DAP releases have an issue and that the Commission on Audit will ensure that if there was any abuse or misuse of this fund, those responsible will be held accountable.
During his nationwide address on the DAP on Monday evening, President Aquino mentioned that the program was spent to build classrooms and energize far-flung areas under a government electrification program.
He also defended the DAP, arguing that the program helped the people through the implementation of legitimate projects.
The Supreme Court declared the DAP unconstitutional, saying the President went overboard in transferring and using money without congressional approval. PND (as)
Malacañang says DAP funds used for revitalization of PTV4
Malacañang said on Tuesday that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was the source of funds for the revitalization of state-owned television network PTV-4.
In a statement sent to members of the Malacañang Press Corps, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said that this is item number 88 in the list of DAP-Identified Projects.
The list was released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and is posted in the government website Official Gazette (www.gov.ph).
Coloma said the DBM released a total of P342,536,605 to the People’s Television Network, Inc. (PTNI) through the PCOO. PTNI is attached to PCOO, pursuant to Executive Order No. 4 (s. 2010).
He noted that when the Aquino administration assumed office on June 30, 2010, the PTNI was in a state of financial bankruptcy, with no identified source of funds to pay for employees’ salary and operating expenses.
To save the network, President Benigno S. Aquino III exerted effort to pass a new law for the new capitalization of PTNI, he said, adding that Republic Act 10390 was signed into a law in March 2013.
Meanwhile, of the new capitalization for PTNI, a total of P59,797,526 has yet to be utilized, as of July 1, 2014, he said.
“Hence, PCOO will request that this be included in the proposed supplemental budget being proposed by the administration in view of the Supreme Court decision on the DAP,” Coloma said. PND (ag)
Businessmen express support for President Aquino’s reform initiatives, Palace official says
The business community on Tuesday urged President Benigno S. Aquino III to continue his reform initiatives for the benefit of the country.
"We note that in today’s dialogue on good governance, the leaders of the business community affirmed their support for the President’s position," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement he issued on Tuesday.
Coloma mentioned the speech of the President to the nation on Monday defending the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), as well as his message to the business community during the “Daylight Dialogue: The Good Governance Challenge” in Malacañang on Tuesday.
The business leaders have called on the President and the government to stay their course and sustain the momentum of the government’s purposive campaign for good governance that has spurred higher and inclusive economic growth for the past four years, the Palace official said.
"The President encouraged them to join cause with civil society organizations and other stakeholders in making their voices heard so that the Filipino nation’s 'vision of lasting and inclusive growth' may be fully attained," he said.
Coloma also noted that the administration is filing a motion for reconsideration to urge the Supreme Court to revisit the basis of its ruling on the unconstitutionality of the DAP.
While the High Court affirmed the benefits of the DAP, the President believes that the SC decision has a “chilling effect” on the government’s ability to deliver essential public services, he said.
In his address to the business community, the President said that more than 50 percent of the P144 billion released under the DAP went to three key agencies of the government -- the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the National Housing Authority.
The chief executive also enumerated the projects funded by the DAP and assured that if there was any abuse or misuse of the DAP funds, those responsible will be held accountable by the Commission on Audit. PND (as)