AS Metro Manila went under flood waters on Friday, questions inundated the unclear outcome of billions worth of supposed flood-control projects in the country’s premier region that were funded under the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
In a statement on Friday, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. noted that in the latest DAP list released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), there was a total of nearly P500 million that was allocated for flood-control measures by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
“What happened to the ‘Priority Flood Control Projects-MMDA’ worth P295 million and the ‘Urban Renewal, Traffic Management Flood Control Phase 1-MMDA’ worth P154 million?” Reyes asked.
He said the entries appear on page 69 of the 139-page DBM list that contains details and particulars that include the names of project proponents from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The questioned projects, the militant leader added, is “part of the so-called ‘various priority local projects’ worth P3.8 billion.”
“They are part of the 2011 DAP projects,” Reyes pointed out, arguing that had the projects that started three years ago been completed, the problem on flooding in Metro Manila would have already eased considerably.
He also questioned the DPWH-initiated projects worth P2.8 billion barely two years ago that up to now are only 67 percent done.
“What happened to the P2.8 billion DPWH ‘various priority infrastructure projects’ under DAP dated December 28, 2012 that also included flood- control projects. Only 67 percent of the unspecified projects were completed says DBM,” Reyes said.
His group vowed to press the government into explaining how many of these DAP projects are aimed at flood control.
“How was the money spent? Where? The DBM report does not give details,” the Bayan leader pointed out.
In an interview with last Thursday, Reyes said the latest DAP list has many loopholes and that it only raised more questions than answers.
“The funds allotted to various local projects have not been properly reported. [President Benigno] Aquino [3rd’s] claim that DAP [funds are] unlike PDAFs [Priority Development Assistance Funds] is completely demolished by the fact that DAP [funds were]used as extra pork for lawmakers,” the Bayan leader added.
By clearly showing that the funds were identified by lawmakers in the same fashion that the PDAF funds were earmarked for various projects, Reyes said it cannot be proven that DAP money was not abused.
The PDAF was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year, along with other forms of pork barrel funds.
“The claim that projects did not end up in corruption also falls flat on its face as a full accounting is yet to be made,” Reyes said.
“We will press DBM and Malacanang to release the complete list,” he added.
The DBM announced that the list of legislator-nominated projects funded from savings and supported through the DAP includes information on the projects and their respective endorsers in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The DAP was launched by the Aquino administration in 2011 to ramp up public spending and boost the country’s economic growth.