Lawmaker demands Abad's explanation on DAP-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
MANILA -- A member of Congress on Tuesday demanded Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad to disclose who among the 285-member House of Representatives last 15th Congress received an additional P10 million to P15 million in Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“Ilabas dapat ang names or list para malaman. Ako walang natanggap na pondo,” Navotas City Representative Toby Tiangco, spokesperson and secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said.
On top of their yearly P70-million priority development assistance funds (PDAF), Abad said each member of the House of Representatives also received P10 million to P15 million last year as part of DAP.
According to the Budget chief, the DAP was designed by his office to ramp up spending and help accelerate economic expansion. DAP releases are usually funded from unreleased appropriations under Personnel Services, as is the case when positions are either not filled up or filled up late. For 2011 alone, a total of P72 billion was reportedly allocated to DAP as an amendment to the national budget.
Abad also admitted giving additional P50 million to senators as part of DAP. Senator Jinggoy Estrada earlier called these funds as incentives to members of the Senate impeachment tribunal who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.
"I haven’t received DAP because I did not support the impeachment. Clearly, Secretary Abad is lying again. Whatever you call it, this is a Corona stimulus fund," Tiangco said.
Bayan Muna party-list Representative Neri Colmenares, one of the 11-man House prosecution panel, admitted receiving an additional P10 million after Corona was impeached.
"We availed of the additional funds to fill the significant amount of our unreleased PDAF for the needs of our marginalized constituents. Bayan Muna has shown its consistency and determination to impeach Arroyo, Gutierrez and Corona borne out of our principles and not for any monetary or pork considerations," Colmenares said referring to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.
Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, head of the House independent bloc, said Abad should explain the legal basis for DAP.
“Where did this come from? What is the legal basis for its existence? We have not heard of this animal, the only DAP that we are familiar is the Development Academy of the Philippines,” Romualdez said.
“He (Abad) should be made accountable to it because it involves public funds. The people owe an explanation from him because those who support the Corona impeachment may be put to jeopardy,” Abakada party-list Representative Jonathan dela Cruz, also a member of the House bloc, added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)