The Social Impact of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to Us Filipinos
I was one of those who joined the march from Fuente Osmeña to Plaza Independencia more than a year ago to call on the abolition of the ‘Pork Barrel’ (legally termed as PDAF). It was one of those very few instances that I cared to join a mass demonstration since my college days. Why? Because I am a tax payer.
Seeing impoverishment everywhere (especially now that I am teaching in public school with my students living on the edge of poverty), it is very upsetting to know that there are a few people (who are already rich) are still trying to get richer by using hard-earned money from the taxes of the Filipino people.
When the Napoles story became a story larger-than-life and the cast unveiled, it was not a surprise that big-time, all-star politicians and government officials emerged as conspirators, if not propagators, of the country’s biggest and most scandalous corruption issue in the country to date.
The PDAF case is now slowly seeing light following the arrest of accused three senators, staff and officials involved.
Apart from PDAF, Pres. Aquino’s DAP; a ‘stimulus package’ used to fast-track the facilitation of economic growth, is also under scrutiny. Just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court declared aspects of DAP unconstitutional.
When used properly, this could have been very advantageous to us Filipinos but in a country where corruption is a profession; where funds are misappropriated, converted and misused; and where it is done right under the nose of the president, I feel that we are in a battle where we (the working class) are at a loss.
The DAP issue is more complex that what I originally thought. Aside from the fact that it includes President Aquino, there seemed to be a lot of hocus-pocus and obvious cover-ups especially on the part of DBM Secretary Butch Abad. And while writing this, Aquino declines Abad’s resignation. It is unsettling because Malacañang spokesperson and officials did not directly answer the issue nor Abad himself.
According to www.gov.ph , DBM clarified that the DAP funding only amounted to P136.75 billion (in just two years) and not the reported P352.7 billion. The Aquino administration should make it clear where the DAP funds where allocated, channelled and given to if it is indeed used in good faith. The Filipino people could not feel the impact of this ‘projects and programs’.
In an interview by Inquirer of former senator Joker Arroyo, he was quoted saying that the public must know where or what these projects are. Earlier, Arroyo denied receiving 47 million that Abad said the former senator received from DAP. He added that with the kind of amount, somebody in Malacañang authorized the disbursement of such fund.
Even Napoles benefitted from DAP and we could not help but wonder who mentored her to operate in such a way where a huge amount of money could be moved without causing a big fuss.
On Abad’s part, he should resign and clear his name. If he has to drag the president with him, then so be it. We are deducted with thousands of pesos worth of tax and we do not enjoy quality service on health, education and basic infrastructures.
If Aquino and Abad has nothing to hide, then they should come clean.
The money we are talking here are not loose change. This is something that we could just shrug away and forget about. We cannot continue to move on with our daily lives and just accept the fact that our government is not working for its people.
The end game here is when we can finally seek the truth. We deserve the truth and we deserve the right to know where our money goes. Just the truth and nothing but the plain truth and the people responsible behind it should return to us, the Filipino people what righteously belongs to us.
Image Credit » http://thefilam.net/archives/15048