• No ‘pork,’ DAP funds in new projects – Palace

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    FUNDS from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) will not be used in the implementation of the P62.3 billion infrastructure and other projects recently approved by President Benigno Aquino 3rd and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

    In a press briefing, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. explained that, for one, the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers has been declared unconstitutional while the DAP already expired years ago.

    He added that even the so-called congressional insertions can no longer be found in all pending projects because of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling against lump sum or unprogrammed funds that constitute “pork barrel.”

    The official also noted that the PDAF is no longer in the 2014 budget following the SC decision against it.

    The SC on Tuesday deferred action on petitions questioning the legality of DAP, which is touted as President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s “pork barrel.”

    The NEDA Board headed by the president approved last Friday the nine major infrastructure, transportation, water supply, and health care projects, all of which will commence this year but would be completed beyond the term of the president.

    The biggest project, the New Centennial Water Source or Kaliwa Dam Project to be undertaken by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), involves the financing, design, and construction of the Kaliwa Dam.

    “So, there are various financing sources for different projects and the most important thing is each abides by the rightful procurement [process]and in accordance with law. This is strictly monitored by the Commission on Audit [COA],” Coloma stressed.

    Meanwhile, the Palace official maintained that the DAP has already served its purpose and was stopped in 2012 although the World Bank itself had claimed that the DAP contributed 1.3 percent of that year’s gross domestic product.

    “The government has made it clear before the Supreme Court that all programs pertaining to DAP have all been accomplished. This was the position taken by Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza and Secretary Butch Abad,” Coloma said.

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