DOH exec defends DAP

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014


AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Health (DOH) came to the defense of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), whose certain parts were declared as unconstitutional, against criticisms that it was erroneously used by Malacanang.

Health Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa said Wednesday that there is no truth that the DAP was wrongfully used by the administration since it has helped them in one of the department's program.

"Definitely nakatulong ang DAP sa amin. Hindi nga lang namin alam na DAP yun at that time pero definitely nung humingi kami ng budget, which turned out to be DAP, may pinuntahang program 'yun," said Herbosa.

His statement comes as calls snowball for Malacanang to make public the list of the projects funded by the DAP, which was allegedly used by Malacanang to "bribe" senators to convict then Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial in 2012.

Last week, the Supreme Court (SC) declared some provisions of the DAP unconstitutional.

Herbosa said the DAP funds played a crucial part in the continuation of the Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service (RN Heals) program.

"I think it was 2012 na nagkulang yung funds for RN Heals. Para madagdagan sweldo ng nurses at matapos ang program, nanghingi kami ng budget sa DBM. So apparently ngayon we discovered na ang pinanggalingan ng budget is DAP," said Herbosa.

He said they were, at that time, under the belief that the additional budget given to them by the DBM came from their agency's own savings.

"When we ask for money, hindi namin alam saan galing. With DBM, we request for funds, ang tingin namin is galing sa savings namin," said the health official.

Herbosa, however, clarified that the DAP funds only helped the RN Heals once as the program's allocation was already included starting from the 2013 national budget.

"Beginning 2013, the nurse deployment program that we have already a line item in the budget," said Herbosa.

Under the RN Heals, while on deployment, the nurses were given an allowance of P8,000 a month by the DOH while the local government unit (LGU) where they are assigned shall supervise them, ensure their safety and security, and provide modest board and lodging.

The RN Heals was the response of the DOH of the prevailing shortage of skilled and experienced nurses in several parts of the country. (HDT/Sunnex)

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