MANILA, July 15 (Mabuhay) – Budget Secretary Butch Abad on Tuesday said he has no regrets in implementing the controversial disbursement acceleration program (DAP). This is despite the numerous brickbats and calls for his resignation.
“How can we regret it? Without raising new taxes except the sin tax, without borrowing even more because our borrowing as a proportion of the GDP has been falling that is why our interest rates have been falling. We have managed to increase unprecedentedly our investments in social protection (conditional cash transfer), in basic education, in infrastructure, in public health, in social housing, you name it. As a result of that, the economy has grown…This is a good program, and the Supreme Court concedes it is,” he said.
He said President Aquino’s speech on Monday night was not meant to be defiant of the Supreme Court but that the President was merely impassioned.
The budget secretary said the Aquino administration is taking the risk to appeal the Supreme Court’s ruling on the DAP because it believes it did not do anything wrong.
He added there was legitimate basis for implementing the program and that provisions of the 1987 Administrative Code on which the administration based its actions were fully reconcilable with the Constitution.
He added that previous administration from Corazon Aquino all the way to Gloria Arroyo implemented programs that were similar in nature to DAP.
Abad said this is not the last time that the President will be speaking about the DAP.
He said the program aimed merely to deliver basic services to the people as efficiently and quickly as possible. (MNS)