Audit DAP Projects, COA Urged

Manila Bulletin, February 17, 2014 | Go to article overview

Audit DAP Projects, COA Urged


Multi-sectoral alliance Abolish Pork Movement on Monday urged the Commission on Audit (COA) to examine the disbursement of at least 12 big-scale projects funded by the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) worth almost P60 billion pesos.

The alliance, led by Mother Mary John Mananzan and University of the Philippines Prof. Judy Taguiwal and composed of religious and progressive groups, anti-corruption advocates, lawyers, and academic representatives, flocked to the office of COA Chair Grace Pulido-Tan in Quezon, City, Monday morning to hand their letter request.

"Several of the projects included in the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] submissions could hardly be considered as having a positive impact on economic growth. Too many items appear to be in line with presidential pork spending and as such are very vulnerable to corrupt practices like those that attended the congressional pork," the group said in the letter addressed to Tan, a copy of which was furnished to Manila Bulletin Online.

The group insisted that DAP serves as the "pork barrel" of President Benigno Aquino, which could be use for projects without the authorization of the Congress which has the sole power on the purse.

The group is among those who petitioned the DAP before the Supreme Court challenging its constitutionality, oral arguments for which is scheduled on Tuesday, February 18. The SC has already ruled that "pork barrel" or the Priority Development Assistance fund is unconstitutional.

The following are the projects that the movements wants to be audited:

1. P5.432 billion worth of funds allocated to the Department of Agrarian Reform for the compensation of landlords.

2. P1.819 billion Office of the Presidential Adviser of Peace Process (OPAPP) funds for so-called peace projects related to peace pacts in the past years.

3. P5.5 billion allocated for "various infrastructure projects", usually quick-disbursing projects below P40 million and often upon recommendation of elected officials.

4. P6.5 billion "Local Government Units support fund" of the Interior and Local Government and DBM, supposedly for "LGU's requiring financial assistance to implement projects under a prescribed menu" in 2011.

5. P8.592 billion Autonomous Region on Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Transition and Investment Support Plan that covers such general goals as the "creation of enabling environment for Public Private Partnership towards equitable growth, improvement of public safety and security, cleansing the electoral system" in 2011. …

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