P32B not on GAA

AT LEAST P32.23 billion of taxpayers’ money had been released under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) for projects and activities that had no funding cover or were not enrolled as approved expenditure items in the national budget or General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2011 and 2012.

As far as the available documents allowed, PCIJ reviewed the list of the DAP-funded projects of the Department of Budget Management against budget items enrolled in the agency’s appropriations for 2011 and 2012 that received DAP monies.

This review focused on DAP projects that DBM had identified in official documents listing DAP-funded projects.

These DAP-funded projects without appropriations cover include:

  • The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas under Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. got P10 billion in DAP funding for “first equity infusion out of PhP 40B capitalization under the BSP Law” in 2011 and P20 billion for “additional equity infusion to the BSP’s Authorized Capital Stock” in 2012. But the BSP had no appropriation in the 2011 or 2012 GAAs.
  • The House of Representatives, through Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. requested and received P250 million in DAP monies to cover the completion of the “Construction of the Legislative Library and Archive Building/Congressional E-Library.” This item has no appropriation cover under the 2012 GAA.
  • The Commission on Audit under Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan got DAP funding of P144 million for its “IT infrastructure program and hiring of additional litigational experts” even as it had no specific appropriation for this project of COA in the 2011 GAA
  • The Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines (now known as Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency or PhilEXIM) under President/CEO Francisco S. Magsajo, Jr. got P570 million in DAP funding for “National Government (NG) Equity infusion” even as there was no appropriation for the agency in the 2011 or 2012 GAAs.
  • In 2011, the Philippine Heart Center under Executive Director Manuel T. Chua Chiaco Jr. received P357 million in DAP monies for the “upgrading of ageing physical plant and medical equipment.” While the budget of the Health Department, which PHC is directly under, includes a “development sub-specialty Center for Heart, Lung and Kidney Diseases…” for that year, PHC’s own budget indicated only one item: assistance to indigent patients suffering from heart diseases.
  • The Philippine Postal Corporation under Postmaster-General Ma. Josefina M. Dela Cruz, got P644 million in DAP funding for the “purchase of foreclosed property, payment of mandatory obligations, (GSIS, PhilHealth, ECC), Franking Privilege” but the Philippine Postal Corporation was not listed in the 2011 GAA. It was, however, included in the 2012 GAA with a line item budget of “delivery of mails of offices with Franking Privilege.”
  • The Laguna Lake Development Authority under General Manager J.R. Nereus O. Acosta got P270 million in DAP funding for “infrastructure upgrade and development program” even as LLDA had no appropriation in 2011 or 2012 GAAs.

— With research by Fernando Cabigao Jr. and Rowena F. Caronan, PCIJ, July 21, 2012