CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has been investigating the use of all Malampaya fund shares that have been allotted to the agency since 2002, according to Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes.
The DAR investigation is based on a report of the Commission on Audit (COA), De los Reyes said in text messages to the Inquirer on Monday.
He did not state the total amount that the DAR received from government’s shares in royalties from the Malampaya natural gas project in Palawan.
He confirmed that the investigation covers the farming yield emergency contingency project to which the DAR, in 2009, transferred funds to the project conduit, Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc. (KMFI), in Masantol, Pampanga.
Plunder ceiling breached
The COA special audits office began validating the project in July, asking supposed beneficiaries if they received agricultural packages worth P35,781 each and if their signatures on receipts were authentic.
With some 2,500 recipients, the kits cost an estimated total of P89.2 million.
The COA 2010 report showed that from 2002 to 2010, P23.601 billion of the Malampaya funds was released to various government agencies and Palawan, an earlier Inquirer story said.
National government agencies received P19.643 billion, and only 1.27 percent of this went to the Department of Energy for the electrification of 211 villages, which is supposedly the primary beneficiary of the Malampaya funds.
The remaining 98.73 percent, or P19.39 billion, was used for various projects other than exploration, development and exploitation of energy resources.
These projects included the rehabilitation of agricultural industries and agrarian reform communities that suffered damages and losses from Tropical Storm “Ondoy” and Typhoon “Pepeng,” the relocation of families displaced by typhoons, the rehabilitation of roads and bridges and the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Registered in 2008, KMFI is still an active nongovernment organization based on the general information sheet it filed in the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 30, documents showed. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon