Drilon asks COA to audit funds coursed through DAP
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Franklin Drilon on Tuesday suggested the filing of “appropriate charges” if there have been abuses in the use of funds coursed through the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“I am asking COA to audit all of these DAP. If it is not properly used, then file appropriate charges,” Drilon said in an interview on cable news television, copies of the transcript were sent to reporters by his office.
COA is the Commission on Audit, which started an inquiry into it amid questions on the additional funds allegedly given to some senators through the DAP after the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Drilon, then chairman of the Senate committee on finance, received an additional P100 million under the DAP.
And despite criticisms, the Senate leader saw no reason why the DAP should be scrapped.
“You cannot say tama na yung DAP, do not forget it’s an acceleration program. You have to have that flexibility,” he said.
“You cannot say abolish DAP because in the first place it is a program necessary to spur spending,” he added.
Drilon said he was just waiting for the Department of Budget Management to comply with President Aquino’s instruction to disclose all fund allocation under the DAP.
“The DBM will publish the DAP allocation like what it has been doing in the case of the PDAF. All allocations made under DAP will be made available by the DBM including those requested by lawmakers,” he said.
PDAF is Priority Development Assistance Fund also known as “pork barrel.”
In his case, Drilon said a big chunk of his DAP-fund was used for infrastructure projects in Iloilo, which is seeking to host the Asia Pacific Economic Conference ministerial meeting in 2015.
“I can account for every peso that was allotted to me under the PDAF or DAP. I do not have a history of malfeasance and misuse of government funds. I am sure that that not a single centavo was channeled to bogus non-government,” he said in a separate statement.
To prove this, Drilon released the details of how he spent his PDAF for the past three years.
He said the DBM data would show how he has been prudent in his use of PDAF, getting only a total of P293 million worth of projects, way below the P600 million he was supposed to avail from 2010 to 2013. Each senator is entitled to P200 million PDAF a year.
“The DBM, all along, has been publishing data on the PDAF allocation of all members of Congress in its website. The DBM data show that I have not fully availed the PDAF allotted to me from 2010 to 2013. In fact, I have only utilized 48.83 percent of the PDAF allotted to me for projects from 2010 to 2013,” he pointed out.
“What is more important here is that the record shows that no single centavo of the PDAF allotted to me as a senator went to bogus non-government organizations,” he added.
Drilon said the biggest PDAF allocated to him amounting P153.35 million was spent for various infrastructure programs which was directly implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“Contrary to claims of my detractors, the budget I requested under the PDAF for the construction of priority infrastructure was managed by the DPWH. I had no hand in the actual project implementation and in choosing the contractors. That is a job of the DPWH,” he said.
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