Philippine President Rejects Resignation Of Controversial Government Official

MANILA, July 11 (Bernama) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has refused to accept the resignation of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad who is currently embroiled in a controversy involving the government's economic stimulus package.

Aquino made the announcement Friday during the presentation of the proposed 2015 budget at the presidential palace, Xinhua news agency reported.

Abad tendered his letter of resignation from the Cabinet to the president on Thursday.

The Supreme Court has ruled that some parts of the government's economic stimulus package dubbed Disbursement Acceleration Programme (DAP) was unconstitutional.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the DAP is "a stimulus package designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth".

Approved by Aquino in October 2011, funds for the DAP came from savings generated by the Philippine government during the year.

On July 1, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the National Budget Circular 541 and other related issuance which served as the legal bases for DAP.

Under the circular, Aquino authorised the withdrawal of unobligated allotments of agencies with low levels of obligations as of June 30, 2012, both for continuing and current allotments.

The Supreme Court also ruled that the funding of projects, activities and programmes not covered by appropriation in the General Appropriations Act approved by Congress is unconstitutional.

Aquino, however, said that the stimulus package had benefited the country and resulted in faster implementation of key public infrastructure projects.


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