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    Posted February 22, 2014 by

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    Phl gov’t: No fund releases to senators

    THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has clarified that there were no “early birds” in the release of funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP), the legality of which has been questioned at the Supreme Court in Manila.
    In a statement released Saturday, the DBM said several releases charged against DAP for various projects and programs were made from October to December 2011.
    It said these releases included those for projects identified by Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, Vicente Sotto III, and Ramon Revilla, Jr., for which Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) were originally rolled out in December 2011.
    The release of funds for projects endorsed by the four senators were in response to their offices’ fund requests in November 2011, a month after DAP was launched in October of that same year, the statement further said.
    It said the releases for projects nominated by Senators Marcos, Estrada, Sotto, and Revilla were first made in December 2011, after their offices had submitted the proper requirements. Those funds were then released to the DAR, which the senators originally identified as the implementing agency for those projects.
    “We want to make it clear as well that these funds were not supposed to go to the senators’ offices. Instead, DAP funds were made straight to agencies endorsed by lawmakers for project implementation. In this case, the fund releases for the projects backed by the four senators were originally made to DAR to support beneficiaries under the agency’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program,” the DBM stressed.
    It also said that after the releases were made to DAR, the four senators requested the realignment of these funds to a different implementing agency, the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC). The requests—which were made by the senators’ offices in late December 2011 and early February 2012—were received by DBM in early February and March 2012.
    “The four senators essentially asked us to change the implementing agency from DAR to NLDC. In their requests, Senators Marcos, Estrada, Sotto, and Revilla changed their nominated projects to programs for displaced or marginal families, for which NLDC was specified by the senators’ offices as the implementing arm. We thus withdrew the earlier SAROs for DAR and issued these instead to NLDC in March 2012, exactly as the senators requested,” the DBM said.
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