Belmonte defends extra funds via DAP
MANILA - House Speaker Sonny Belmonte confirmed there are congressmen who received around P10 million from the Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP).
He also doesn't see anything irregular about it and pointed out that it is not likely related to the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona since these were disbursed several months after.
Belmonte said, however, that there are many lawmakers who have either not availed or have not received their shares.
He readily admitted receiving his P10 million either in August or September of last year. He said some congressmen had been receiving it little by little until now.
During a Makati Business Club meeting at the Hotel Intercontinental Makati this morning, Belmonte and Senate President Franklin Drilon reiterated their commitment to regaining the public's confidence in the two houses of Congress.
They both committed to push for reforms, including the passage of the Freedom of Information bill, which is seen to increase the transparency in government transactions.
He also said the House of Representatives will no longer receive lump sum funds in the form of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) and will instead course projects through government agencies by crafting specific programs.
Drilon to publish PDAF dibsursements
The Senate, meanwhile, may do away with the PDAF completely.
Drilon added he already asked his staff to publish his PDAF from 2010 to present.
He clarified he had not availed of his PDAF during the years 2006 and 2007.
He also explained his decision not to require Janet Lim Napoles to appear at the Senate hearings on the pork barrel scam. He said he is submitting to the advice of the Ombudsman.
He said what is important is the ability of the Ombudsman to prosecute those who are liable.
Makati Business Club Chairman Ramon del Rosario Jr. said the business community wants to see all those guilty in the pork scam prosecuted and convicted. They also commended the lawmakers for abolishing the pork barrel.