Press Release
July 3, 2014


Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada reiterated today his earlier pronouncement that the Commission on Audit may not be the best body to look into the expenditures made under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

This developed as the Supreme Court recently struck down the essential provisions of the DAP as unconstitutional.

The lawmaker said that though the COA is constitutionally mandated to examine and settle all accounts of the government, its findings will be suspect and will be regarded with partiality as the commission is also a recipient of the DAP funds.

Sen. Estrada recalled that during his interrogation of the 2014 budget for the COA, Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan admitted that they requested and received funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to finance the modernization program of the commission.

A total of 143 million which was sourced from the DAP was given to the COA and were used for information technology infrastructure (P68,352,000), installation of closed-circuit television (P2,079,000), hiring of litigation experts and legal and management consultants (P4,607,000), and purchase of service vehicles (P5,115,000).

"Did these COA 'projects' help boost the economy, as the DAP they say was intended for fast moving projects and to pump prime the economy?" Jinggoy wondered.

The senator further said that since the DAP spending was made outside the enacted budget approved by Congress, no one knows how much taxpayer's money was channeled through the said unconstitutional mechanism.

"I think we can all agree that the people have the right to know how public funds were used, how much has been poured into the DAP, what projects were funded using this scheme, and whether these projects were completed or not," Jinggoy said.

"Full disclosure and special audit are in order. However, I have serious reservations about the COA, being a recipient of the fund, as the auditor," he added.

Sen. Estrada again brought up the option of an independent body composed of esteemed personalities from the academe, mass media, retired justices, private auditors, among others to probe and audit the releases made under the DAP.

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