Press Release
October 13, 2013

Drilon: DAP creation based on the President's power to realign funds

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon clarified today/Oct. 13 that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is completely different from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and its creation was made in accordance with the constitutional power of the President to realign funds in order to meet the government's spending target. "DAP is based on the President's constitutional power to realign funds. The same power is also granted to the Chief Justice, and heads of all Constitutional and Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG)," emphasized Drilon.

CFAG includes the Judiciary, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections and the Office of the Ombudsman.

"This power to realign funds has been exercised by all past presidents, chief justices, Comelec chairmen, etc. The funds are not realigned to the legislature, but from one budget item to another in the same branch," pointed out Drilon.

"What is prohibited is transfer of funds from one branch of government to another."

He cited, for instance, the decision of the Judiciary in 2012 to realign funds derived from the savings from a number of unorganized courts. The savings was utilized for the construction of Manila Hall of Justice.

Drilon said that DAP should not be treated and viewed as another form of PDAF as they are two entirely different matters, and DAP has been created to improve the pace of government spending.

"Unlike the PDAF which has been a regular item in the General Appropriations Act, DAP is a program to accelerate government spending which was needed then, especially during the fiscal year 2011, to meet our growth domestic product targets to expand the economy," added Drilon.

"Funds released under DAP were not budgetary insertions. DAP is a program, not a fund," he added.

In late 2011, he recalled, economic growth was only at 3.6 percent, way below the projected 6-6.5 percent growth. This prompted the government to expedite spending through the implementation of the DAP. As a result of an improved spending, the country's GDP jumped to 6.8 percent in 2012.

"DAP is valid and legal. What is crucial here is the proper use of funds," emphasized Drilon.

Drilon reiterated that DAP allocation is not cold cash and but was merely a list of infrastructure projects recommended by legislators and local government officials to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

"We were only asked to list down a number of projects which were immediately implementable at that time in order to accelerate government spending and boost the economy," Drilon explained.

In his case, Drilon said, he used his P100 million DAP funds to the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center.

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