22 July 2014

Declaring DAP as Unconstitutional

When the Supreme Court declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program as unconstitutional in a unanimous decision, the Aquino administration refused to obey the ruling as it will just delay government projects and that they did not violate the law in implementing it. Thus President Aquino filed a motion for reconsideration and will appeal the verdict before the High Tribunal.

This is just one of the many political controversies that the Malacañang are facing and it will become a test of how the Aquino administration will get along and fare as the 2016 election is looming and fast approaching. And I cannot put aside that what’s happening right now has nothing to do with politics and that someone will do anything in order to discredit and make anomalies so their opponents will suffer. Yet it doesn’t mean too that the declaration of DAP by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional has no legal basis at all. Citing Article 6, Section 25 (5) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which authorizes the President, the Senate President, the Speaker, the Chief Justice, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions to transfer funds within their respective offices.

So, “cross-border transfers of savings of the executive department to offices outside the executive department” and “withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Act” must be cleared and approved with Congress, which has the power of the purse.

That alone would suffice everything, making the Disbursement Acceleration Program as illegal and unconstitutional even if the Aquino administration are acting in good faith in trying to fast track the government’s priority projects. In fact, even the Supreme Court justices themselves recognized DAP’s positive results which was cited from the World Bank study for its benefits to the economy. But in my opinion, any particular method by which the goal was achieved does not validate the process nor does it excuse the fact that it was inherently obtained in a wrong manner because there’s always a legal and constitutional way of asking a supplemental budget without usurping the power of the Congress.

And with the continued defiance of President Aquino in the Supreme Court’s ruling in declaring DAP as unconstitutional, I think, he somehow forget his oath of office, that the President is duty bound to preserve and defend the Constitution.
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14 July 2014

The Illegal Owner: Disputing Land Property

I think, many have no idea or perhaps don’t known that one of the reasons why the Philippine economy is so bustling right now is because of the growing OFW’s. OFW’s contribution to the GDP that reaches almost 12% (and growing) is surely undeniable. I’m pretty sure too that being an OFW is not a long term goal for everyone and many are surely would want to come home one day. So a wise investment scheme is probably the best option that one should have and one clear answer to that is putting your hard earned money in a low risk plan. Investing in land property is on top of the list of many but just make sure that the piece of land you plan to have has clean title.

In other words, you must make sure that you buy it from the lawful owner of the land and that it has no tainted anomalies or strings attached. If not then you will end up with a big headache and wasted time just like the recent disagreement between SM Prime Holdings Inc. and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) involving a prime lot in Taguig City where SM Aura was built.

If you are reading the news then most likely you have read different stories and both parties have different versions on the legality and who’s the absolute owner of the subject parcels of land that has been contested for its intended use. And here’s how it started and to quote, “The American Battle Monument Cemetery under the BCDA encroached on parcels of land owned by Taguig and intended for a civic center. The BCDA and Taguig City agreed to swap parcels of land in exchange of the parcel encroached on by the cemetery, the BCDA gave several parcels of land in Fort Bonifacio to Taguig. The compromise was formalized in two memorandums of agreement (MOAs) signed on Oct. 21, 1999 and Feb. 11, 2004. By virtue of the Deed of Conveyance on Jan. 17, 2008, the BCDA transferred the property to Taguig City, without any land use or zoning restrictions.

One needs not to be a lawyer to know and understand such dispute. Since Taguig, by law, is the rightful owner of the property, has the inherent power on how to use that piece of land. What caught my attention is not about who rightfully owns it but on the matter that the conveyed land has to be used as civic center. Perhaps, that’s what this is all about. One has to find some technical issue in order to get a claim and probably has something to do with competition. I think you know what I mean, considering what other property developers have done in the area.


According to reports, SM Aura Premier was built not just as a commercial complex alone because there are other facilities with in it like hotel, clinic, museum, place of worship, convention hall, public library, government and private offices and other support facilities that was required by the City of Taguig under a resolution so it will become not just a simple civic center but a mixed-used development site. So if you don’t want to be entangled with this kind of unpleasant trouble then you choice wisely before deciding.

Image from rappler.com
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