Nancy: DAP probe leaves more questions unanswered

Posted at 07/25/14 4:20 PM

MANILA - Instead of clarifying issues surrounding the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), Budget Secretary Butch Abad left more questions unanswered during the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday, Senator Nancy Binay said.

"Actually ako ho parang mas nadagdagan pa nga yung dapat itanong," Binay told radio dzMM on Friday.

According to Binay, Abad should explain the other supposed savings mechanism where additional funds for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) were sourced.

"Nakakatakot kasi lumalabas sa hearing kahapon na bukod pa po pala sa DAP ay meron pang isang listahan na pinagkakagastuhan ng savings," she said.

During Thursday's hearing, Binay grilled Abad on why the P4.1 billion in additional funding given to the Comelec in 2012 was not included in the list of 116 DAP projects submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Abad then clarified that the additional funds did not came from the DAP, but from the savings that did not fall under the program.

He said that out of the pooled P237 billion in savings since 2010, only P144 billion was released under the DAP. The remaining P90 billion was used for other projects not specified under the list of DAP projects, he said.

Binay said Abad should also submit a list of projects that were funded by the P90 billion savings.

The neophyte senator, meanwhile, also questioned the allotment of P70 million in DAP for the Department of Health's (DOH) stem cell research, saying that the money should have been spent for hospital beds instead.

"Alam niyo yung mga nanganganak ho dun (sa Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center) na nanay dalawa o tatlo ho sa isang kama," she noted.

She also criticized the DBM for releasing P143 million in additional funds to the Commission on Audit (COA) supposedly for IT infrastructure programs and hiring of additional litigation experts, when the agency had a total of P3 billion in savings.

Binay said the Executive should also answer why the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), was given P1.8 billion in DAP funds.

"Kung nagbigay sila ng pondo sa MNLF, bakit nangyari ang Zamboanga City siege?" she said.

According to the senator, the DAP seems to be even more "scary" than the lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.

She noted that at least, it was specified in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) that a senator would be allocated P200 million in PDAF and a House member P70 million.

"At least nga ho sa PDAF may limit eh... Alam niyo po sa DAP walang ganung limit? So pwede ho siyang more than P200 million, more than P70 million. Kaya ho talagang nakakatakot," Binay said.