Press Release
July 25, 2014

Abad must be compelled to account missing P90B--Nancy

Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad may have survived grilling during the Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) on Thursday but Sen. Nancy Binay said that the budget chief is "not yet off the hook."

"Dapat mayroong managot. Remember that this is the people's money that we are talking about and there is still P90 billion missing in the government's 'savings'. Secretary Abad owes the Filipino people an explanation on where these funds went," the lady senator said on Friday.

While the government pooled P237 billion in savings since 2010, only P167 billion went to the DAP. It was also learned on Thursday that while the government approved P157 billion proposed projects under the acceleration program, only P144.3 billion was released under DAP.

Binay pointed out during the hearing that some appropriations did not fall under the Department of Budget and Management's list of projects funded by the controversial program. The DBM listed 116 projects funded by the DAP.

Based on records, DBM gave the Commission on Elections (Comelec) an additional funding worth P4.1 billion intended to be used to purchase precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for the 2013 midterm polls. The request for additional funding was made after its proposed P17 billion budget was cut down to P7 billion.

In one of the Senate hearings, Commission on Audit (COA) chief Grace Pulido-Tan admitted that the commission received P5 million budget for purchase of vehicle supposedly taken from the P143 million funding for the agency's IT infrastructure program and hiring of litigation experts. Binay asked Abad why COA's vehicle request did not reflect in the DAP list.

During the Senate hearing on the DAP, Binay was surprised to learn from Abad that the P4.1 billion given to Comelec did not come from DAP and it appeared that--aside from the list of projects whose funds came from the DAP--there is another savings mechanism where funds for other government projects are sourced.

"The funding released to Comelec and COA were not listed under the 116 projects funded by DAP. It appears that there is another list of projects--mga proyekto po na binibigyan ng DBM ng pondo galing sa regular savings," said the senator.

"Secretary Abad failed to answer where these funds were sourced. Kung hindi po ito kinuha sa DAP, saan ho ito nanggaling? Hindi pa ho tapos ang ating pag-uusisa sa kung saan nailagak ang tinatawag na savings ng ating bayan. Lahat po ng ito ay dapat ma-account ni Sec. Abad at ng DBM--saan ito napunta at sino ang nakinabang," Binay said.

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