Advice for PNoy: Drop DAP defense, be realistic

Posted at 07/28/14 3:51 PM

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III should no longer talk about his administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in his State of the Nation Address (SONA), political analyst Prospero de Vera said.

Speaking to radio dzMM, de Vera said Aquino should stop taking a combative stance against the Supreme Court (SC), which declared certain acts and practices under the DAP as unconstitutional.

"Ang unsolicited advice ko ay huwag nang i-diskusyon o huwag nang pag-usapan ang DAP sa SONAng ito," he said.

He noted that Malacañang, through the Office of the Solicitor General, has already filed a motion for reconsideration of the high court's ruling on the DAP.

He said if Aquino would still discuss the controversial program in his SONA later this afternoon, critics would only say that he is using the platform to put pressure on the SC to reverse its ruling.

Moreover, de Vera noted that the President has already defended the DAP in a televised nationwide address last July 14.

"To me that is already sufficient," he said.

"Unless ang sasabihin ng Pangulo ay kung ano yung mga konkretong reporma sa budget na gagawin simula ngayong taon para yung mga kritisismo sa DAP ay mawala... Kung depensa lang, huwag na yun," he added.


According to de Vera, Aquino should also be realistic in the promises that he will deliver in his address.

He pointed out that the level of political agitation this year is higher compared to the previous years, and the people are already impatient.

"So kung gagawa ka ng SONA, you must balance between defending your track record, telling the public what you want to do in the last two years, and also being realistic in what you can do in two years."

"There should be no promises beyond a year, a year and a half... Huwag nang mangako na ganito ang mangyayari kasi it's just fueling false expectations. Dapat realistic yung mga sasabihin na mangyayari," he said.

De Vera believes the President must say in his speech how government plans to bring down inflation.

This, after a Pulse Asia survey showed that the Aquino administration got a -15 rating in fighting inflation.

"Sa tingin ko yan dapat ang mensahe," de Vera said.


Meanwhile, de Vera enumerated some of the achievements of Aquino, saying: "May mga ginawa ang Pangulo na talagang kakaiba sa kanyang mga predecessor."

Among these, he said, is standing up to China amid a brewing territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

He said the Aquino administration has also allocated more funds for the country's defense as well as the education sector, particularly state universities and colleges.

He also commended the performance of one Cabinet member, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson.

"Finally you have a DPWH secretary who is competent, who does not want to become a politician, and therefore walang pangangailangang magtabi ng pera. At saka yung wala siyang pake, ibig sabihin hindi siya indebted sa political favor," he said.

De Vera, meanwhile, said Aquino should already push for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill.

"Wala namang malaking balakid yan. Political will na lang ang kailangan diyan," he said.

He said the greatest challenge for the current administration now is the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which would be acceptable to both sides of government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"Magkakasubukan yan," de Vera said.