MANILA -- The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is also drawing flak from a former government official.
Realigning the government's savings worth P72.11 billion in 2010 and 2011 to the DAP is a move that may be illegal, according to former national treasurer Leonor Briones.
But Malacañang, for its part, disagrees.
Of the P72.11 billion, P37.2 billion was returned to government agencies while P7.25 billion went to local government units and P26.9 billion to government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).
Senators also received P1 billion while P1.2 billion went to congressmen.
For Briones, the funds may go by any name but they are still pork barrel.
"Additional pork yan. Tama ba na bahagi ng appropriation, bahagi ng budget ng mga agencies na inipon, na ginawang savings, tama ba na i-convert yan to pork?"
"Ibig bang sabihin na mas mabilis na mag-implement ng proyekto si senador, mas mabilis si congressman mag-implement ng proyekto? Di ba nagdadagdag lang ng delay?" she asked.
Briones also noted it was bad timing, as the funds were released after the Corona impeachment trial and months before the midterm elections.
"Tingnan na lang natin kung legitimate ba yan na kukuha ka galing sa appropriations act tapos ilipat mo sa congressman o sa senador on the pretext, on the excuse, on the reasoning that it is to speed up development?"
Commission on Audit (COA) chief Grace Pulido Tan told ANC her agency is now investigating how the funds under the DAP were spent.
Tan said unlike the 2007 to 2009 special audit, the DAP probe will not take three years to complete.