Bulk of solons’ DAP spent on village roads
MANILA, Philippines–The bulk of the P13-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds obtained by senators and representatives went to projects “in aid of elections” such as barangay (village) roads, flood control, livelihood and scholarships.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said a tabulation of DAP projects made by the Computer Professionals’ Union (CPU) based on data from the Department of Budget and Management showed the “irrational” pattern of deploying money taken from the budget savings of other agencies contrary to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s claim that the DAP was meant to stimulate the economy.
Reyes said 14 percent, or P1.9 billion, of the DAP funds for lawmakers went to barangay roads in districts chosen by legislators and their allied governors and mayors.
Reyes said these barangay roads were built a year before the 2013 elections, proof that DAP was used like pork barrel funds.
“The barangay road is the quintessential pork barrel project used for patronage politics at the local level. There is no explanation why such projects would be the top recipient under a stimulus program other than the reality that these projects are intended to boost the electoral bid of politicians” said Reyes.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. spent most of his P428.775-million DAP for the construction of barangay roads.
Roughly 10 percent or P1.25 billion of DAP funds to lawmakers were funneled into flood control projects.
Reyes said his Twitter account was inundated by pictures of flooded streets in Mandaluyong City during Tuesday’s heavy downpour. “They were asking, ‘Where did Majority Leader Boyet (Neptali) Gonzales place his flood control projects in Mandaluyong?’” said Reyes.
Gonzales is the top spender for flood-control projects with P62 million.
The third-biggest DAP item in the lawmaker’s shopping list were livelihood programs, which got a total of P1.19 billion.
Reyes noted that pork barrel scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy had said that some P475 million in DAP for livelihood projects were funneled to fake Napoles nongovernment organizations (NGOs). “If true, this means that 40 percent of the DAP for livelihood projects ended up with fake NGOs,” said Reyes.
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