To better raise political awareness in the youth today, a forum entitled “WhadDAP PDAF: #CriticalPH” was held at the Social hall of the Cebu Provincial Capitol last Thursday, August 7.
Organizers of the event were some of the progressive student and independent youth organizations in the Philippines headed by Rafaela David, National Chairperson of Akbayan Youth; Lester Ouano, Vice-Chairperson for Visayas Akbayan Youth; and Marlon Cornelio, Executive Director of Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking.
The forum was initiated as a means of reaching out to the youth of Cebu by giving the attendees an insight and overview of the current state of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
It was attended by students from different schools, universities, and youth organizations in Cebu, as well as officials and guests of the program.
Under-secretary Tom Villarin, from the Office of Political Advisors of the President, was the guest-speaker of the event. Villarin gave an overview of the Disbursement Acceleration Program and justified the acts under DAP that had been declared unconstitutional by the High Court last July 1.
Villarin mentioned the economic growth that was established because of DAP by presenting figures of proposed projects dating back October 2011 to December 2013, with a total of Php 455.38 billion approved and released. Villarin then showed the different areas of development the funds had been disbursed to, with 37 percent going to economic services; 34 percent to infrastructure projects; 21 percent to social services; 5 percent to defense, security and disaster management; and 3 percent to other miscellaneous projects.
A panel of reactors was then established to give their insights and reactions on DAP and PDAF, and its effects on the Philippines. The panel was composed of representatives, Phoebe Zoe Sanchez, University of the Philippines – Cebu Political Science Department; Niño Olayvar, Anakbayan; and Teody Navea, Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC). The panel of reactors, along with Villarin, then answered questions from the audience regarding DAP and PDAF.
The forum was then concluded with representatives from the different student and youth-organizations, such as Akbayan Youth, Political-Science Students Association of the Philippines (PSAAP), Union of Progressive Students, and Political Science and Public Administration Students (POLIKRATOS), giving their views on the state of DAP and PDAF in the country and its effects on the youth, who all spoke of the need for the youth to not be apathetic in the political affairs of the Philippine government.