PDAF, DAP: Palace insists they're not bribes
MANILA - Malacañang on Monday insisted that funds released under the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were not a form of pork barrel nor incentive to lawmakers who voted to convict former chief justice Renato Corona.
This is even if President Aquino also suspended the release of 2013 DAP funds for lawmakers along with the PDAF following controversies on the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds.
The Palace explained that DAP funds were released to fund projects upon the request of the senators.
The DAP, Lacierda said, was envisioned to boost government spending.
"We have releases, regular releases, of PDAF. It is found in the DBM website. And whether you voted or not against Corona, whether you voted for or against Corona, the senators who do not—who avail of their PDAF, their PDAFs were released," he said.
"Now, DAP is another matter. DAP, again, is a program where we induce acceleration spending. There are projects which are worthwhile. There are projects which we can use for—to accelerate not only infrastructure projects but social programs. But DAP is not equal to above-PDAF or more PDAF. It’s not. It’s not. And, by the way, let me also state that this amount goes to the implementing agencies."
Lacierda pointed out the DAP is also being used for projects of national agencies, GOCCs, and local government units.
Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said DAP releases for government agencies will not be suspended.
The DBM on Saturday said that funds were released in late 2012 under the DAP on top of pork barrel funds to "support projects that were proposed by senators."
It listed down how much were released to fund projects proposed by each senator.
RESPONSE TO ARROYO
In response to a statement of former Senator Joker Arroyo, the Palace stood by an earlier statement of the budget department that "releases were made for funding requests from the office of Sen. Arroyo" in February 2013 amounting to P47 million.
Lacierda said that this was after Arroyo wrote then Senate finance committe chair Franklin Drilon requesting that funds be released for certain projects when the 2012 budget had already been enacted into law.
"Number one, we acknowledge that Senator Joker Arroyo did not use his PDAF. He never availed of his PDAF. Number two... the projects that accompanied his letter were projects that are very laudable," Lacierda said.
"However, since the DBM cannot accommodate them, owing to the fact that... the 2012 budget was already approved last December 15 of 2011... to accommodate these projects, laudable projects... they utilized the consolidated savings ng DAP (Disbursement Allocation Program)."