Drilon: DAP funds used for Iloilo project

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today stressed that every centavo of the P100 million funds which he availed of under the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in 2012 was properly spent in a project that would spur development in the Western Visayas.

Drilon explained that the P100 million under the DAP went to the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center, which President Benigno S. Aquino III inspected last June 27. (Note: Photo of PNoy and Drilon’s inspection attached)

“I invite everyone to visit Iloilo and take a look at the Iloilo Convention Center which is nearing completion,” Drilon said.

“The funds I availed of were not misused, nor were they channeled to a bogus non-government organization,” pointed out Drilon. “The funds were used for the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center in order to boost Iloilo’s chances of hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ministerial meetings in 2015.”

“This is a realization of a lifelong dream of the Ilonggos to have their own convention center at par with those of Cebu’s and Davao’s,” said Drilon.

“What is wrong with fulfilling the dreams of your people? What is important is that we can account for every centavo of the public funds and that there is transparency and accountability in the implementation,” he emphasized.

Drilon pointed out that official records would show that every peso in DAP funds he availed of was directly coursed through the Department of Public Works and Highways, which implemented the project.

The Senate chief also said that while he respects the decision of the Supreme Court, he still believes that the DAP has served its purpose of expediting the spending capacity of the government which resulted in higher-than-expected growth rates for the past quarters.

Drilon said that he spearheaded the construction of the convention center, which has a total cost of P700 million, in order to expand tourism industry in the Western Visayas.

“It is designed to attract and accommodate major conferences, summits, congresses, fairs, and trade shows and exhibits. It can accommodate more than 3,700 people,” noted Drilon.#