Abad submitted sanitized DAP list, says Tiangco
MANILA, Philippines–Budget Secretary Florencio Abad submitted to the House of Representatives a “sanitized” list of the P10 billion that was released to legislators under the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), United Nationalist Alliance secretary general Toby Tiangco claimed Tuesday.
Abad showed up “totally unprepared” for the plenary budget debates in the House of Representatives, which began last Monday, Tiangco said in a statement yesterday.
He noted that Abad had promised during the Aug. 6 budget presentation before the appropriations committee that he would present all the relevant documents on Sept. 15 before the budget debates on the plenary floor.
“The plenary debates started in the morning but Secretary Abad did not submit the documents [until] I questioned the quorum around 2:45 p.m. [when] Secretary Abad handed over a ‘supposed’ report of the DAP releases,” he said.
“But there are many blanks and missing details,” said Tiangco, who represents Navotas in the House.
“It was supposed to be a copy of the DBM (Department of Budget and Management), but when I started interpellation, the pages of my copy and their copy were shockingly not the same,” he said.
“Right there, it was already suspicious… And then I started questioning the items line by line. It became even more suspicious as the names of the legislators were omitted for each item,” he said.
Tiangco said he had requested Abad by a letter last Aug. 26 for a “more detailed report on the DAP funds that benefited projects of select members of Congress.”
“I asked Secretary Abad [to provide] all the letter-requests of legislators, the status reports of the projects and all the necessary details wherein we can see the amount per legislator. A deficient and incomplete report is unacceptable in this day and age of computers,” he said.
“Where is the P10.08 billion DAP given to congressmen and senators? This looks like a sanitized report. Where is the list with the names of senators and congressmen?” Tiangco said.
Abad had told the appropriations committee that some 7 percent of the P144-billion DAP went to lawmakers, amounting to over P10 billion.
Tiangco said he agreed to give Abad more time to submit a complete list.
He said he made sure it was put on record in the plenary that the budget secretary had committed to submit the complete records in the format requested by Tiangco, before 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Last July, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional certain practices under the DAP, including declaring savings from unreleased appropriations and using unprogrammed or standby appropriations. It also ruled that savings and standby appropriations could be declared only at the end of the fiscal year.
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