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TIMELINE: The rise and fall of DAP

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday, July 1, ruled on the constitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) – close to 3 years after it was conceptualized and implemented by Malacañang. It said 3 schemes under DAP were unconstitutional.

The justices ruled 13-0-1, excluding retired justice Roberto Abad. They identified 3 acts as unconstitutional: the creation of savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and the withdrawal of these funds for implementing agencies; the cross-border transfers of the savings from one department to another; and the allotment of funds for projects, activities, and programs not outlined in the General Appropriations Act.

The High Court's ruling was in response to the filing of 9 petitions that questioned the power of the executive branch to control budgetary appropriations through this funding mechanism.

In some ways, the DAP is similar to the pork barrel, which was deemed unconstitutional by the SC in 2013. (READ: SC junks PDAF as unconstitutional

The DAP was also questioned by both lawmakers and the public. It had been identified as an incentive given by the administration to senators who were expected to decide on the impeachment of former Supreme Court justice Renato Corona. Mired in controversy, with the administration claiming the DAP was intended to address government under-spending and stimulate economic growth, and critics saying realignments were being made by the executive without congressional approval, the DAP issue was brought to the High Court for settlement.

Below is a timeline that traces the short-lived DAP.

2011

October 12 – President Benigno Aquino III approved DAP, a mechanism designed by the government to ramp up spending and help accelerate economic expansion, sourced from savings or unreleased General Appropriation Act (GAA) items, as well as realignment and unprogrammed funds. It was introduced to increase government spending after "sluggish disbursements" that resulted in a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 3.6% in 2011.

2012

May – Malacañang allegedly used DAP as fund source to reward senators-judges who voted to convict former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona, whom Aquino had badly wanted impeached.