PNP benefited from DAP funds

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Monday, July 21, 2014

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed Monday that it received P3.24 billion from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) of the Aquino administration but only 11.7 percent of it was utilized.

In a media conference, PNP Public Information chief Reuben Theodore Sindac said the national police agency received Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) "believed to be charged to DAP" starting in 2011, on top of their annual budget, to cover four activities in the PNP.

Sindac said from the actual amount, P2.86 billion were allocated for the PNP Operational Transformation Program (OTP), P136.4 million for the transition investment plan in the Autonomous Region in the Muslim Mindanao (Armm), P128.2 million for the construction of new police stations and P115.6 million as additional funds for the "P1,000 per capita/personnel for every police station."

Sindac said only P379 million or 11.7 percent was used and the remaining funds remain with the Department of Budget Management (DBM).

"Only P27.4 million was obligated for the OTP, P132.3 million for the transition investment plan in the Armm, P103.8 million for the construction of police stations and P115.6 million for the additional funds for the deficit in P1,000 per capita. Hindi lahat nagamit at maliit lang dun sa actual allocation for the PNP ang obligated," Sindac said.

Sindac said the agency learned "just recently" that the additional funds allocated to the PNP was part of the controversial DAP, which was declared recently as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

"Since DAP was declared unconstitutional kahit may natitira pa dun sa funds allocated to the PNP, hindi na iyon magagamit pa," he said.

DAP is a stimulus package under Aquino administration designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth. It covers high-impact budgetary programs and projects, which will be augmented out of the savings generated during the year and additional revenue sources.

President Benigno Aquino III approved the DAP on October 2011, upon the recommendation of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) and the cabinet clusters.

On Monday, militant lawmakers endorsed an impeachment complaint in the House of Representatives against the President for culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public funds, which stems from Aquino's release of DAP to the legislators and government agencies.

Senate President Franklin Drilon meanwhile urged the DBM to release all documents, including pertinent SAROs, pertaining to the DAP funds, which were availed of by lawmakers.

"The records are with the DBM and Secretary Florencio Abad said that the DBM is conducting a thorough research on the matter. Upon the completion of its report, the DBM should release them for the sake of transparency," said Drilon.

"These are public records and it is only right that the public be given access to these documents so that they can scrutinize and find out if public funds were indeed put for public use," he said.

The Senate President likewise reiterated his earlier call for the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a comprehensive audit of the DAP, and investigate if there were red flags in the implementation.

He said that a COA full-blown audit would find out if DAP funds were misspent.

"The COA should heed calls for a complete audit of DAP. Only a COA report would dispel fears that these funds were used for personal gains,” said Drilon. (With Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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