Budget chief: No allocation under DAP to pay Luisita owners

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) denied Tuesday that the Aquino administration released funds through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to compensate the family of President Benigno Aquino III, landowner of Hacienda Luisita.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad made the statement following the allegation of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chair Rafael Mariano.

The funds released to pay Hacienda Luisita landowners, amounting to P7.93 billion, were sourced from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) in 2010 and 2011, and not through the DAP, he said.

"The KMP is making a factual error in their impeachment complaint. The funds that they're referring to were already part of the Department of Agrarian Reform's (DAR) 2010 and 2011 budgets for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). These allotments were not released through the DAP, nor were they augmentations to the DAP's budget for CARP," Abad said.

He said that DBM records show that P3.97 billion was allocated for the CARP under DAR in the 2010 GAA, for which a special allotment release order (Saro) was released on June 4, 2010. On October 4, 2011, another P3.97 billion was released to DAR for that year's implementation of the CARP.

"If you check the list we uploaded on the website, you'll see that item no. 24, or 'DAR: Landowners' Compensation' does not specify an amount for proposed funding. The fields for 'Allotment Releases' and 'Balance' for landowners' compensation are also blank. That's because all we did was release the Notice for Cash Allocation (NCA) for the CARP so the funds could be released to the proper beneficiaries," Abad said.

"We wanted to expedite the release of these funds so we could quickly turn over the land due our farmers. The DAP allowed us to do precisely that, so that Hacienda Luisita farmers could finally own the land they've worked on for so long," he added.

Aquino has been facing a number of impeachment complaints before the House of Representatives after the Supreme Court declared parts of DAP as unconstitutional. (SDR/Sunnex)

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