Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said projects under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) have benefited many Filipinos and partly boosted economic growth, citing in particular Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) and the country’s new Doppler radar systems.
Launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Project Noah is a program for disaster prevention and mitigation for the country?s warning agencies to provide a six-hour lead-time warning to vulnerable communities against impending floods.
Asked by reporters whether the Palace regrets having implemented the DAP, Lacierda said: ?How does one regret a decision to help thousands of people, of our countrymen? How does one regret installing a Doppler radar warning system? How does one regret the setting up of school buildings? These are noble projects which benefited the people.?
The Supreme Court, has declared unconstitutional some provisions of the DAP.
Citing National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) chief Arsenio Balisacan, Lacierda also attributed the increase in the country?s gross domestic product (GDP) partly to DAP.
Further, Lacierda stressed that the SC ruling on DAP is not a ground for impeachment of President Benigo S. Aquino III.
He said since the SC declared unconstitutional only some provisions of the DAP, ?so it appears, therefore, that the entire DAP is not unconstitutional.?
?In several administrations, perhaps you can go all the way back to the time of the previous presidency, you would have certain acts declared unconstitutional,? he added.
In an earlier statement, the DOST said weather bureau Pagasa was also a beneficiary of the DAP for building its first ever National Meteorological and Climate Center (NMCC).
The NMCC will be equipped with state-of-the-art information technology facilities that include research laboratories, weather and climate modeling hubs, a training center and an auditorium to hold symposia and seminars for enhancement of weather forecasting capability, the DOST said.
It will be erected at the Pagasa Central Office, Science Garden Complex in Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City.
?Once the center is operational, weather related activities will be at par with other international weather centers. Likewise, our local weather experts will be highly equipped to conduct weather and climate modeling and prediction as well as pursue studies on weather and climate related disasters that will enable us to prepare and respond to them,? the science agency said.
The project cost is P275 million for the construction of the building and structure outlay, office equipment, furniture and fixtures. The amount is part of the total P425 million disbursed to Pagasa under the DAP.
The remaining P150 million was used for the enhancement of the Doppler Radar Network for National Weather Watch, Accurate Forecasting and Flood Early Warning project.