MANILA - The constitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which some consider presidential pork, has been raised before the Supreme Court.
Greco Belgica, who lost in the last senatorial elections, said the DAP, released allegedly as an incentive to the senators who voted to oust Chief Justice Renato Corona, violates the Constitution.
He said Section 25 (5) Article VI of the Constitution prohibits “any transfer of appropriations (except) to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.”
The question on DAP was raised in his reply to the halt order earlier issued by the high court on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Belgica is one of the petitioners against legislative pork barrel.
“The DAP directly violates this constitutional prohibition. The transfer of the DAP funds from the executive branch to the legislative branch is simply a prohibited transfer of appropriations,” he said.
“If Congress cannot pass a law transferring appropriations, it follows that the President cannot by Executive Order transfer appropriations. What Congress cannot do directly the President of the Philippines, it cannot do indirectly,” he added.
He said the DAP is another example that the president is given so much power “and unbridled discretion in how discretionary funds such as the Malampaya Funds and Presidential Social Funds are disbursed.”
The petitions against the PDAF have been set on October 8.