7 reasons why PNoy’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is wrong

President BS Aquino: Enjoys full power of the purse
President BS Aquino: Enjoys full power of the purse
During his fifth State of the Nation Address, President BS Aquino appeared frustrated at having to keep defending his Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to the Filipino people. At some point during his speech, he became flustered and tried to fight back his tears. A lot of those who witnessed him being emotional felt sorry for him and sympathized with him. His emotional speech paying homage to his father’s so-called “legacy” managed to distract some people from the real issue.

The lesson here is simple: emotional blackmail always work with gullible people. There’s a catch to using emotional blackmail though. It only works in the short term. If you keep using it to get what you want, either you will come across as a spoiled brat or an emotional wreck – something of a weakling. Soon, people’s sympathy will fade and turn into annoyance or worse, hate.

Since President BS Aquino can’t discuss the DAP without becoming distressed and irrational, it is up to the Filipino public to keep the discussion sober or more level-headed. More importantly, they have to keep the discussion alive. There is always a danger that people’s short attention spans could be diverted again to the next viral sex video or to Presidential sister, Kris Aquino’s love life and then the controversy surrounding DAP will be forgotten.

What is wrong with the DAP anyway? The answer to that question is: A LOT.

While the average Filipino – those who are not lawyers – readily agree that DAP is wrong simply because the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional; most of the President’s supporters think it is acceptable simply because BS Aquino says it was used in “good faith”. In other words, the arguments over DAP, whether for or against it, simply fly over most people’s heads.

It doesn’t help that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s explanation is both dubious and convoluted. And it doesn’t help as well that lawmakers allied with the President keep asking the wrong questions.

All this talk about the General Appropriations Act (GAA), the Administrative Code of 1987 and a new meaning for “savings” is doing people’s heads in. With that in mind, I have come up with a simple, lay man’s explanation of why the DAP is wrong:

(1) The DAP gave the President or the Executive branch of government too much power over public funds.

Philippine Congress: Consent given to PNoy to usurp power of the purse
Philippine Congress: Consent given to PNoy to usurp power of the purse
Every year, the Executive through his Budget Secretary submits a budget proposal to Congress outlining where the President thinks the public funds should be spent. Congress, who has the power to approve the budget, deliberates on the merits of the items. If they think some of the items should not be prioritized, they can strike these out from the budget — that is, assuming they actually study the items thoroughly.

Since public funds coursed through the DAP were spent without Congress approval, the President assumed control of public funds and in essence took the “power of the purse” away from Congress.

(2) The DAP was used to continue the tradition of patronage politics.

This is where it gets complicated. A few days ago I tried to explain this to a foreigner but he looked at me like I was talking out of my ass. He could not comprehend why members of Philippine Congress or public auditors would allow the DAP to happen. He said where he comes from, a cunning deception like this would cause public outrage. I told him that most members of Congress are always happy to receive pork barrel funds from the President no matter where it came from and so naturally, they would help defend the DAP. Doing the opposite would implicate them in the offense. Former Senator Joker Arroyo likened DAP to the President “raping” Congress with its consent.

Sadly, even locals loyal to the Aquino regime are in denial of this. In an ideal situation, Congress would have impeached the President immediately after finding out his unlawful acts in the management of the national budget even before the matter is brought to the Supreme Court. In an ideal world, members of Congress actually use their heads. In the Philippines however, the President and most members of Congress are in cahoots in the mismanagement of public funds.

(3) The DAP is promoting impunity.

Because most members of Congress from the Legislative Branch of government do not want to hold the Executive accountable for the DAP, this will continue to be a problem in the future of Philippine politics. The next President will have an excuse to justify playing around with public funds using his own “discretion”. As a matter of fact, President BS Aquino knew very well that this can happen when he was still a senator. Back in 2008 when he authored Bill 3121 or the Budget Impoundment Control Act, his purpose was to “strengthen the Legislature’s power over how the Executive spends appropriations”.

Unfortunately, the bill just sat on the drawing board and now the very author of the bill has chosen to weaken the Legislature’s power over how the Executive spends appropriations without changing the Constitution.

(4) The DAP will help continue the cycle of retribution among those in power.

If the DAP becomes legitimate and if the Executive resumes allocating funds to members of Congress, there will be no end to rival politicians seeking revenge once they are in power. Those who felt wronged during President BS Aquino’s term will do the same thing — buy favors from lawmakers using public funds to persecute their enemies. The circus show called “Congressional hearings” will continue to be popular programming in local TV channels.

(5) The DAP will continue the tradition of vote buying during Philippine elections.

Just like the now defunct Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) or pork barrel funds, public servants who got fund allocations from the Executive through the DAP had funds to buy voters. Former National Treasurer Leonor Briones likewise warned of the same thing. Here’s what she had to say:

Former National Treasurer Leonor Briones on Friday warned that the huge lump sums in the 2015 national budget might be used by the government to prepare for the 2016 elections.

This is similar to the 2012 budget that preceded the 2013 elections. The government cranks up spending for infrastructure and construction the year before elections. Concrete projects create the impression of growth, though it is a challenge to sustain this growth for the next years,” Briones said in a statement.

Briones said incumbent politicians usually have an advantage against their opponents because ”projects are credited to officials as part of their track record as the ruling parties would spend for projects in their allies’ jurisdictions. Opposing parties can be deprived of this spending, putting them at a disadvantage.

Past TESDA scholars thanking former President Gloria Arroyo
Past TESDA scholars thanking former President Gloria Arroyo
There’s also loose talk going around that some of the individual recipients of the DAP like the iskolar ng bayan had to pledge allegiance to the yellow ribbon before they could receive government funding for their training. This is similar to what some of the victims of typhoon Yolanda were saying – that relief goods were only given to those who promise to vote for the members of the Liberal Party.

(6) The DAP’s role in stimulating economic growth is not sustainable.

When you use spending to stimulate growth, it will only work in the short-term. The reason why former President Gloria Arroyo had to use spending to stimulate growth was to “counteract” the effects of the Global Financial Crisis that ravaged global markets in 2008. The funds to stimulate the economy then were approved by Congress and the move was even lauded by a few economists because the country managed to avoid going into depression similar to what happened to Iceland and Greece. However, as soon as President BS Aquino put government spending on hold in 2010, economic growth drastically slowed.

Spending to stimulate the economy has a lasting legacy, which is the accumulation of debt. The more people spend, the more they get into debt. The high credit rating the government received from such agencies like Fitch Rating could only result in the country going into more debt for nothing if the funds are not used wisely.

An alternative that President BS Aquino should have done, which would have had a long-term effect on the economy was to give support to local industries to promote local employment. The government could have given low-interest loans to small business operators that would foster innovation. Likewise, the government should have fixed tax collection by providing incentives to business owners to encourage them to pay the correct tax and push more investors to join the club.

(7) Projects funded through the DAP are not visible to the naked eye.

They say an empty cart rattles loudly. President BS Aquino’s defense of DAP sounded like an empty cart, indeed. One of the reasons why it is so hard for some people to believe public funds were spent wisely through the DAP is because the average Filipino can’t find any evidence of improvement in the public infrastructure that they use on a daily basis. The Philippines still has the worst airport, a bad public transport system, still suffers from flooding, road traffic congestion and power interruptions.

If I were in President BS Aquino’s shoes and have billions of public funds at my disposal, I would have prioritized fixing those things the minute I stepped inside Malacanang. Unfortunately, he chose to prioritize projects he thinks are more important. This includes funding the persecution of his political enemies.

You see, it’s not surprising that President BS Aquino gets frustrated when defending the DAP. There’s no doubt that some of the funds went to legitimate projects that would benefit the public. However, the disbursement of the funds lacked transparency. Not to mention, still unaccounted for.

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71 Comments on “7 reasons why PNoy’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is wrong”

  1. I just find it moronic that DAP was invented by Abad and Noynoy covertly yet their line of defense is that others had it. Maybe it is too simplistic of me but for me Noynoy had to have something in place to make up for his lack of leadership and crisis management skills . We are looking at it. Of course he will cling too tightly. What do you expect from the accidental president?

    1. @Gogs

      I think they didn’t expect anyone would question the way they “disburse” public funds. Maybe they thought PNoy is too popular and no one would dare question his “integrity”.

      1. Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP is a fund for the Philippines and the Filipinos, not for the Legislators, executives or even the president or any other person working for the government. It is for the people of the Philippines who pay taxes.
        The people running for position of Presidential or executive branch of the government sees it as a gold mine. They see it as a way of earning money first, gaining popularity second and serving the country third. They call it “Power of the purse”.
        I think DAP should be eliminated for the greedy people to stop from running for positions during elections. This would disinterest the people who only want money in their pockets. That is why we can see people with government positions who don’t have any knowledge of the law, even the basics. Because all they know is that they have the position and that they have control of the money of the people. The position in the government was before patronized by the people who want to serve the country. Now, DAP is the one who is being patronized by the people running for government a position.
        I think the funds of DAP that were allocated for projects should be visible to every single person in the country. The gathered funds, remaining funds and the allocated funds must be clear t o the naked eye of the people of the Philippines.

        1. DAP is the implementing guidelines on how to disburse funds. And to say that it is only for the people who pay taxes (i assume you mean those who pay direct tax) can mean injustice to those who dont because even of they dont pay directly but when they buy food or pay for services they are paying charged taxes. Even if they eliminate DAP it would not change the fact that we live in a country with corrupt officials and the world knows that we are not the only ones suffering from this kind of faith. They might concoct another scheme to mess with the country’s money for them to benefit with it.

  2. We know is not visible to a naked eye but it visible to an honest heart with fame and humor that this President came from martered father.They are only honest family among all politicians.

    1. Aquino family? Honest family? My Ass…
      Martered father (martyr father?)…what an ass…the Aquinos are swindlers, traitors, collaborators and the worst political opportunists…Aquino III, the biggest liar and thief…

    2. Ninoy Aquino, the father of this B.S., was a traitor to the Liberal Party. He knew about the planned bombing of Plaza Miranda by Sison and his cohorts during the LP miting de avanse on Aug. 21, 1971 but he did not warn the LP leadership…he was hoping for a complete wipe-out of the LP leadership so he could take on the mantle of being the LP standard bearer against Marcos.
      And the B.S. has proven he’s a chip off the old block by junking his LP running mate Roxas in the 2010 elections…
      Betrayal runs deep in the Aquino blood. Theirs, indeed, is a family of flawed psyche.

      1. Proof or no pudding, or something like it.

        In any case, many a rakish tabloid has run on fumes with headlines screeching bloody murder, but I’m quite sure those fumes can kill if the info they care to spew cannot be verified.

        You allege a vicious lot, good sir. Now prove it.

        1. Pallacertus –

          Please read: Secrets of the Eighteen Mansions, 2009, Anvil Publishing, by Mario I. Miclat, Dean, UP Asian Center.

    3. If you can’t see it with your naked eye, it’s probably not there. After all, you shouldn’t need a microscope to see 12,000km of roads the idiot president is claiming to have built.

      We were born on this earth with a brain to think with. Stupidity, on the other hand, is your personal choice.

      1. @BEIBER, U can’t see it,so its not there? Do you see the internet signal coming into your PC? The radio waves coming into your radion that produces the sound that comes out of the radio? OR the electricity that is running all thru eveything that is plugged in to an electrical socket?

        I could go on, but hope you see the point here? BUT I wont be surprised if you don’t.

        “SAV OI FERE IS EVERYWHERE.”!

        1. @SACRE-FUMIER So where did it go? Let’s say it is there. What did the President fund, if not those road projects? Probably those intangibles you’re claiming BS has done “for us.”

          And seeing, as @Bienb has said, refers to what he can detect with his sense of sight. And you; for the sake of either defending the yellow flag; or just for the fun of making someone look bad; say that there are other things beyond our eyes.

          That’s true, but not even our benevolent leader has claimed to have funded projects that exist in the field of “internet signal coming into your PC.”

          Your arguments reek of yellow half digested shit, mixed with carrion, and sprinkled with sugar.

    4. Someone who has techinically broken all of his campaign promises is not to be considered as “honest”. His incomptence renders his “honesty” to nothing.

      Reliance on paid hacks like YOU to spread falsehoods doesn’t make him honest

    5. You must be intoxicated from drinking too much of Yellowtard cocktail laced with DAP-DAP serum. Oh, Boy George, wake up…the party is over!!

    6. @George > Clearly with your opinion could only mean 1 of 2 things or both; you are a recipient or a member of the family posing as someone else here. NEVER in our lifetime will there be an honest Filipino politician, maybe .002% chance. Even the most honest public official gets blackmailed into submission. Money lords over morals and principles with most Pinoy’s all the time, such is the principles of survival !

  3. About no. 7, not visible to the naked eye, or not existing all? For all you know it, projects listed under DAP are just listed, but money isn’t actually going there. Similar to ghost projects.

    Also, DAP as a discretionary fund. Discretionary funds are not supposed to be main funds. Each project should have a dedicated and earmarked amount of money under each department not coming from discretionary funds, simply because things have to be budgeted and citing a specific amount of money is supposed to aid in preventing corruption. If some money is missing, you have to find out where it disappeared to. Discretionary funds are supposed to be extras, for emergencies and all that.

    So here’s my question: if the government is dependent so much on DAP, does it mean they’re not sending dedicated money to projects? They’re half-hearted about projects? Or is the country’s financial situation so dire they have to depend on the emergency fund? In the absence of these reasons, then the likeliest reason for such large DAP, PDAF or pork barrel amounts is corruption.

    1. @ChinoF

      Just like what I said in my previous article DAP is the result of Noynoy Aquino’s lack of planning, lack of foresight and lack of vision:

      DAP is more of the result of the President’s reactive style of management as opposed to the more efficient style of being more pro-active. In his recent speech defending the DAP, he claimed to have been “taken aback by certain information given” to him hours before he was scheduled to deliver his 2011 SONA — like the one about DepEd, “only managing to complete 18 out of the 8,000 school buildings that they had targeted to build.”

      First of all, isn’t it strange that the President’s staff would only brief him about the country’s state of affairs hours before he delivered the state of the nation address? Second, why didn’t his staff know about the problems his department would face like “problems with land, assessment issues, as well as the complex processes in our bureaucracy in building the schools” beforehand? He should have been aware of it while he was drawing up the blueprints for his projects.

      Lack of planning, lack of foresight and lack of vision defines BS Aquino’s administration. This is the only reason why they had to use so-called “savings” and transfer it from one department to another. In other words, they were overcompensating for under-spending at the beginning of his term. They also tried to right a wrong with another wrong.

      1. Sometimes, I wonder that what’s happening to the the country is that saboteurs are drilling holes to sink the ship slowly, then they loot the ship before it completely sinks.

        1. That doesn’t seem logical. Even a rat knows it can’t leave a sinking ship in the middle of an ocean. They’d have to be pretty desperate to even think of leaving their floundering vessel if they realise there’s nowhere else to run once they’ve scuttled it.

          The reality is likely more mundane — as Ilda’s article points out, it’s simply a matter of poor planning due to a lack of foresight and strategic thinking. They’re not out to deliberately ‘sabotage’ the ‘goose that lays the golden egg.’

          A lot of our so-called ‘leaders,’ politicians and public officials believe they are owed something for their ‘service;’ after all, they see themselves as sacrificing for the ‘greater good.’ That sort of reasoning allows them to justify to themselves all of the waste, the kickbacks they get from government transactions, and all sorts of backroom dealings. Then there are those who are just plain greedy but either don’t have the wherewithal to compete in the real world outside of government, or are just too lazy to work. Those creatures form the backbone of practically every organised criminal conspiracy to defraud the government.

          In each instance, these reprobates will bilk the system until the coffers run dry without any regard for the consequences. And when the situation becomes critical, we make up for the shortfall by incurring new debt.

          That’s the pattern of Philippine politics. Foregoing long term sustainability for short term, shortsighted personal profits. With everyone doing it — even with the disastrous effects so painfully obvious — it isn’t surprising that one might think it was a deliberate effort to undermine the Republic. I mean — how could so many supposedly brilliant leaders be so breathtakingly stupid?

  4. Aquino shedding Crocodile Tears will never remove his guilt on his massive thievery of Public Funds thru the DAP. Along with ABAD, his co-conspirator; they stole massive amount of money from the National Treasury.

    DAP is like giving Aquino and Abad; a hidden way to spend the Taxpayers’ money at their own liking. There is no transparency to trace, where the Funds went.

    So, Aquino used the DAP to buy Senators and Congressmen to further his political agenda.
    He used it also to pay himself of his Hacienda Luisita; and the landlords.
    Some went to his own pocket and his foreign Bank accounts.

    Only a few amount went to some visible projects; to mislead people; to show ,that he has an existing project. “Pakitang Tao, lang…”

    The Three Stooges, who are supposed to be in jail; are proof of the massive graft and corruption, because of the DAP and Pork Barrel Funds.

  5. #8) DAP IS THEFT OF PUBLIC FUNDS?

    or did U mention that already?

    THIEVES BELONG IN REAL JAILS WITH REAL CRIMINALS BEATING EACH OTHER UP/DOWN/SIDEWAYS AND BACK!

    There I said it,so thar!

  6. I think somebody in Malacanan should be a hero and advise Ngoyngoy to have a one-way trip vacation to NoKor wearing “I Heart USA” shirts.

  7. President Aquino has no national plan or agenda to begin with, that will serve as guide on how the administration will run government affairs. PNoy is like a captain of a ship without compass nor map. He just simplifies things. He has no respect for our constitution. He has no political ideology. He just have a slogan and yellow ribbon. So,he needs DAP in order to execute his whims. DAP is only good for the president and his allies. They can freely do what pleases them minus congressional control over the budget. However, there is no proof that it has done good to our economy. And, DAP weakens the power Congress. In the long run, DAP will do more harm than good.

    1. In the end, the only people that would believe Mr. Aquino’s lies are the malacañang trolls and his band of liars, the LP.

  8. Economic stimulus saved the economies of US and Europe, please don’t assume that you know better than all the best economists of those countries. What this country actually needs is to borrow more money to spend on infrastructure, Like businesses, that’s how you grow. Maybe Marcos made sense in this regard.

    1. Yeah it did “save” the US but in the long run US $ will suffer. But then again, the way US plays the game is print more money to pay their debts. In short pay debts with another debts.

      Question for you Jarvis – who branded the so called “experts” experts? Do you necessarily believe them? Well if you do – no wonder Pinas and Pinoy is as such..

    2. Jarvis, just in case your not aware – the US of A is $US 15Trillion+ in debt. How will they pay their debts? My guess is its a toss between hyper inflation or larger tax.

      1. Well, they believe that the economy will be better in the future, businesses and industries will thrive again, higher GDP then more percentage of GDP for payment. Countries with high external debt are usually 1st world countries, while they innovate on ways to fix their economies we who are scared of debt continue to be poor and live in pathetic countries.

      2. HAHAHA! When was the last time US made an innovate solution to their economy? Is stimulus innovative? Anyone who can print money can lend money cheaply!

        1. Many people come up with doomsday scenarios about the debt eventually crashing their economies, guess what? It hasn’t happened. You think crisis in Greece and Argentina is bad? everyday life in Philippines is still worse. At the rate Phils. is going now, even if US and Europe have a crisis every other year. They’ll still be way better than us.

        2. Failed! Guess what? Hyper inflation is real and was experienced by countries like Germany and Italy. And have you seen a pic of $1 Trillion Zimbabwean note?

      3. And are you nuts? Why do you want to copy US? Does Pinas have global brands that they can market globally? Does US have political clowns like Revillame, Benay, et.al? At least they know better than we do. Can you actually use PhP aside from Da Pinas?

      4. The last time I checked (that was seconds ago) nobody uses PHP as their foreign reserve. But majority still uses USD as foreign reserve. Does that tells you something Jarvis?

    3. But I guess you’ll not be able grasp the things that I’m trying to say here. For a country (Pinas) who’s borderline politically unstable and socially and morally fucked-up, it isn’t impossible that Pinas will end up like the those unstable African countries such as CAR, Djibouti, Sudan, Congo. I wouldn’t be surprise at all and I’m actually expecting that. If PNoy can just hyper inflate PHP fast enough by following the so called “expert” and print PhP day & night and pump in to the stream it may just fast track that. That would be exciting don’t you think?

    4. @Jarvis

      What this country actually needs is to borrow more money to spend on infrastructure, Like businesses, that’s how you grow.

      Go ahead and encourage more borrowings with the incompetent men and women currently occupying powerful positions in Ph government. See where that will take the country in a few years time.

  9. Government must stay away from venturing into businesses. Government is proven to have a bad track record whenever it enters into industries.

    What the government should do is re-evaluate and change old policies that hinders real economic growth. ( Sorry to say but most policies copied abroad do not work well for us given our political dynamics).

    And just to stress, DAP is not in fact an economic stimulus per se. It was a lump sum savings used on questionable programs, more prone to corruption and abuse.

    1. @Kaloy

      The Supreme Court does not consider the DAP funds savings. It considers it mainly unreleased appropriations, funds reassigned from slow-moving to more urgent projects, and unprogrammed funds.

      1. Well, noted. Thanks for reading my comment. I guess, I jumped on the new meaning of savings being drafted through a joint resolution of PNoy‘s Congress.

        note: I get a lot of insights from your articles. I believe that you should continue with your advocacy. Spray it.

        1. Do you consider your red herrings to be effective?
          Because it’s not. -_-

          Still not very smart, are you, sendonggirl?

    1. @Cher

      I don’t have to give you a reason. No one is forcing you to read the article.

      You can read the article (or not) and analyse if the points raised are valid. If you have any questions or objections, you can (or not) post them here too. I or the other commenters can respond to them if we feel like it.

      I hope this explains the concept behind participation in public online discussions.

        1. Is that some kind of defence for DAP? It’s a bit lame.

          Each country has its own set of laws. According to Philippine laws, the President is not allowed to use unreleased appropriations, declare them as “savings” and then reassign them from slow-moving to what he thinks is more “urgent” projects. An example of what PNoy considers “urgent” is giving additional pork to lawmakers who have yet to come up with “projects” to spend their pork on.

        2. Another red herring comment.
          -_-
          As usual, you sendonggirl have completely missed the point…by a mile

          Your attempts to justify your boss’s illegal dap has failed you again.

          You’re still not very smart,are you,sendonggirl?

        3. Well, what do YOU think?
          And no, trying to come up with yet another pathetic red herring isn’t gonna work.

          Still not very smart,are you, sendonggirl?

        4. Nope, redirecting the question back to me isn’t gonna work in your favor since it’s not even related to the topic at hand. Another failed red herring as usual.

          Still not very smart are you, sendonggirl?

  10. DAP is wrong from the start.

    When Pnoy started his gig as President of the Philippines, he stopped/cancelled/suspended on going projects by the previous administration. In efect, all the budget for these projects, they declared as savings, hence, the DAP.

    Sige nga, sagutin niyo nga kung tama yun, diyan pa lang sa simula na ‘yan???

    You can say that DAP killed all those people who died in the flood in Luzon.

    1. Same thing goes for the noytards logic on fb. The incompetence of their yellow ampaw is already known to the country yet they want the incompetent twat to have another term??

      That’s like saying you want Dracula to be in charge of a blood bank

      1. Irregularities like what exactly?
        Just because your boss in malacañang says that they are riddled with irregularities(Allegations,FYI doesn’t mean that they should be cancelled even if they could’ve prevented floods and disasters in the past years.

        Still not very smart are you?, sendonggirl

      2. DAP had irregularities, wait let me rephrase that. DAP is the IRREGULARITY. Yet BSA the TURD keeps defending it. The programs that your idiot IDOL in Malacanang suspended, so he could keep the funds and claim SAVINGS, could have helped the country more than what the NOYTARDS are claiming that the DAP has done.

        TRY HARDER IDIOT!~

  11. Rich in mineral resources (from marbles to gold), rich in marine resources, rich in agri-resources, ironically, rich also in bright-minded people.
    Philippines is not supposed to be sending and sending OFW’s, Philippines is supposed to be hiring human resources from the foreign lands should Philippines had the genius in maximizing the resources it has.The issue lies in here because the direction and the development program the Philippines had are not geared towards its maximization. Anybody who think he is intelligent may castigate this comment citing litany of reasons why Philippines cannot maximize its resources, but how intellectually believable this litany would be, there is only one truth about it i.e the Philippines been maneuvered by business-inspired politics/politics-backed up business, the authors of the Philippines’ “MOB RULE”
    Philippines been spending too much for the same old show, “Go all out war vs the corrupts”

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