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SC decision may undo economic progress, Abad tells Senate


(Updated 10:52 a.m.) The Supreme Court decision on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program may undo the economic progress achieved by the Aquino administration in the past years, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said Thursday.

Defending the DAP before the Senate finance committee, Abad said the SC decision will not encourage efficient public spending nor will it push agencies to use funds for the public services.
 
He said DAP was an urgent response to the urgent problem as low expenditures pose threat to the economic development.
 
“Since 2011 when DAP was implemented, we saw dramatic GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth,
 6.8 percent in 2012 and  7.23 percent in 2013. DAP yielded positive results,” he said.
 
He said the SC ruling will send a chilling effect on the administration’s momentum of reform as it prevent officials to seek innovative solutions to problems.
 
“Thanks to innovative governance, the Philippine economy did not grow by playing it safe. We did all this through bold innovation and reform under the leadership of President Aquino,” he said.
 

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad's presentation on DAP before the Senate finance committee 24 July 2014 by GMA News Online




Abad assured the public that the government will not be paralyzed into inaction just because of the SC ruling as it is now doing measures to allow it to address the problem.
 
Abad is set to submit to the Senate a complete list of the P144.3 billion worth of projects funded by DAP from 2011 to 2013 “in the interest of transparency and accountability.”
 
He said the list identifies the name of every project, the implementing agency involved, the details of the special allotment release order (SARO), program of activities and the status of the respective projects. 

SC decision

On July 1, the SC announced that it has declared certain acts under the government's DAP as unconstitutional, including the declaration of unobligated and unprogrammed funds as savings, the transfers of savings from one government branch to another, and the funding of projects not stated in the national budget. 
 
Malacañang has repeatedly said that the DAP was undertaken in good faith to boost the country's economic performance. 
 
On Friday, Malacañang appealed the SC's DAP ruling, maintaining the stimulus program was undertaken in good faith.

The controversy over the DAP has prompted two groups to file impeachment complainst against President Aquino at the House of Representatives. 

Earlier, Abad offered to resign arising from the DAP issue. The President, however, did not accept the budget chief's offer to resign. — RSJ, GMA News

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