Senator Chiz Escudero today said the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) released to him formed part of his request made to the Office of the President (OP) to bolster local government programs requested through his office.
Escudero, chairman of the senate finance committee also clarified that it was P96 million worth of projects and not P99 million, as initially reported by the Department of Budget and Management. The DBM said it will also issue correction about the figure.
“I have made several requests to the OP to boost program funding requests of the LGUs through our office. I have requested before OP and was granted with a P96 million worth of infrastructure projects and not P99 million as reported. The whole amount went to the construction or repair of public markets of LGUs for P500 thousand each”.
Specifically, the whole amount was downloaded to and implemented by the municipalities and cities in Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Cavite, Rizal, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan”.
He said all allocations and disbursements to and by his office from the time he first received his PDAF in 2010 and the succeeding years have been posted since last year on his official website (www.chizescudero.com) where figures can be readily accessed. The senator said all his pork allocations went to two projects only: 1. allocation to all regional hospitals and specialty hospitals in the country and 2. Infrastructure projects principally construction or rehabilitation of public markets in all LGUs.
Escudero, who was the first among his peers in the senate to move for the abolition of the pork barrel through Senate resolution No. 193, reiterates his position that all legislators are responsible for the proper disbursement of the funds entrusted to them. This is why, he said, transparency plays a key role in the issue of PDAF.
“PDAF is not evil at all. It only becomes such when these have been used as tools for malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance. As I have moved for the abolition of PDAF, it is also a good question to all legislators to ask where all these funding go and how were these utilized? It would also help to ease the unsettling of the public if we could all be transparent in the utilization of our funds by making all facts and figures available to the public”.#