DAP worked just like PDAF


Part two

Based on reports from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is a mixed basket of clear, concrete projects given relatively smaller funding that were bundled with vague, insubstantial activities and programs allotted lump-sum billion-peso funding.

The latter set of activities cornered nearly half of all DAP funds, allowing for variably low to no guarantees of impact, transparency and accountability.

Abad and Aquino have explained that through DAP, the government wanted to give priority funding to high-impact, fast-moving and socially responsive projects, in order to shore up public spending and boost economic growth.

But the lump-sum funds tucked under DAP that went to projects supposedly requested by still unnamed legislators and local officials seemed to have worked like the much-maligned PDAF that the Supreme Court had declared in October 2013 to be unconstitutional.

In DAP’s case, the apparent haste that marked the release of DAP funds apparently left little room for the typically tedious process of doing project feasibility studies, program of work or even disclosure of project specifications that are among the hallmarks of open and transparent budget planning and execution that, ironically, DBM under Abad had championed since 2011.

Yet still, DBM had defended DAP to be “a fiscal stimulus measure” and “a package of reform interventions to address the inefficiencies and leakages in government spending and to stimulate economic growth.”

The “fiscal stimulus measure” soon evolved into “a pool of funds” that, Abad has said, supported “proposed additional projects that have been chosen given their multiplier impact on economy and infrastructure development, their beneficial effect on the poor and their translation into disbursements.”

Lump-sums galore
The DBM list of DAP-funded projects featured, too, not actual projects but broad activities or programs (i.e. LGU Support Fund, Various Infrastructure Projects, projects for “capacity development”) that drew much bigger lump-sum funds.

These lump-sum amounts represent at least a fourth of total DAP funds released by DBM across a 26-month period.

The PCIJ’s review of DBM’s DAP projects list reveals that at least P35.54 billion of the total P144.37 billion DAP monies were spent on various local projects, details of which are not all fully disclosed.

The P35.54 billion excludes as yet the P6.49-billion support fund provided to local government units to supposedly cushion the impact of the 4.8-percent decrease in the 2012 IRA.

Half of the lump-sum amount or P17.31 billion went to projects “requested by legislators, local government officials and national agencies” that DBM is yet to itemize.

In total, “legislators, local government officials and national agencies” were assigned 12 percent of DAP projects, the second largest portion of DAP total funds. Abad earlier said only nine percent of DAP projects were identified by lawmakers.

The largest, single DAP allotment that was released in two tranches was the P30-billion equity infusion in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The New Central Bank Act of 1993 mandated a P50-billion recapita–lization for the BSP.

DBM said since 1996, national government has not allotted P40 billion of the amount. Through its DAP funding, DBM said, BSP will “expand its rediscounting facility and help stimulate economic activity by enhancing the delivery of credit to productive sectors of the economy, including micro, small and medium enterprises.”

The balance of P17.95 billion that went to lump-sums under DAP went to more lumped local projects through the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan Program (Pamana), Comprehensive Peace and Development Intervention for ARMM, various projects through government corporations and development assistance to the province of Quezon.

Projects related to housing and resettlement of informal settlers, as well as roads, bridges and flood control, took P11.07 billion and P16.3 billion, respectively.

Steady flow for LGUs, solons
DBM made sure that projects “requested by legislators, local government officials and national agencies” secured a steady flow of DAP funds. In at least several tranches of DAP releases, these unspecified projects got DAP monies:

P6.49 billion for “Other various local projects” that “shall fund priority local projects nationwide requested by legislators, local government officials and national agencies.” This item was approved under the first tranche of DAP or “DAP 1” on October 12, 2011.

• P1.88 billion for “GOCCs: Other various local projects” that “shall fund priority development projects nationwide in the areas of municipal ports, FMR (farm-to-market roads), local roads and bridges, livelihood, nutrition development, and electrification through certain government-owned and -controlled corporations.” This item was approved under “DAP2” on December 21, 2011.

• P8.06 billion for “Other various infrastructure projects” that “shall fund other priority local projects nationwide requested by legislators, local government officials and national agencies.” This item was approved under “DAP 3” on June 27, 2012.

• P2.76 billion for “Other various local projects” that “shall fund other priority local projects nationwide requested by legislators, local government officials and national agencies.” This item was approved under “DAP 5” on December 21, 2012.

• P4.45 billion for “GOCCs/DPWH/LGUs: Priority Local Projects Nationwide” that “shall fund priority projects nationwide, including recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation projects due to calamities.” This item was approved under “DAP 6” on June 14, 2013.

• P6.49 billion in “LGU Support Fund” that DBM said was “pursuant to the President’s directives, the amount will help local governments cushion the impact of the 4.8-percent decrease in the 2012 IRA [Internal Revenue Allotment] over the 2011 levels due to abrupt decreases in national internal revenue collection in 2009.” This item was approved under DAP 1 on October 12, 2011. With reporting and research by Karol Ilagan, Rowena F. Caronan and Fernando Cabigao Jr.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. You should kill the advertisement on the right side of your page that says “This is not a joke”. Its constant movement is distracting and nothing in it, whether the X or the minimize button works. These all go to the page of the advertiser. Please remove it or at least make it stationary or make the X or delete icon work.

  2. Perhaps it would do well for my fellow netizens, particularly the two who posted their reactions here, to read the previous story of Ms. Mangahas and not jump hastily to conclusions. My sense is that the articles do not, in any way, absolve PNoy or Abad of any accountability. Methinks to call the PCIJ report as a work of fiction is fictional and does not, in any way, contribute to the national debate about DAP.

  3. Anybody can write fictional story even my 10 year old son can write make believed stories. Isn’t it right Ms. Malou Mangahas?
    Malacañang should come up with complete audit report of were the DAP monies of what project DAP funded and who benefited from the project a complete and itemized audit report of the 150 billion DAP monies. Until there is solid evidence proving that DAP was spent on “Good Faith” the story of Ms. Mangahas will be treated as a story telling a lie.

  4. Dominador D. Canastra on

    This report by PCIJ, gives the High Court magistrates a pseudo reason to pretend that there is reason to believe Aquino and Abad meant to serve the interests of the nation and the people,
    Of course we don’t know if the money really went to beneficiaries or to the pockets f the unnamed legislators and LGUs who sought money for their projects.
    But the PCIJ article leaves room to “reasonable doubt” that Aquino and Abad are guilty of comitting their illegal acts in bad faith.
    Malacanang’s spinmasters are really experts and can rely on their Yellow Army which, we now see, includes the PCIJ. Yes, PCIJ wrote so many reports damning the Macapagal-Arroyo administration even without proof or based on wrong evidence.
    Nagpagamit yata ang Manila Times.

  5. DAP declared by SC as UNCONSTITUTIONAL is an unlawful use Filipino taxes. There is no amount of justifications will make DAP LAWFUL. Had DAP NOT BEEN EXPOSED, THE LEGISLATORS COULD HAVE CONTINUED TO ENRICH THEIR PERSONAL POCKETS. ABAD and PNOY must share the accountability and transparency, even CRIMINAL LIABILTIES..