MANILA - Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares on Friday claimed that President Benigno Aquino III controlled at least P1.16 trillion in Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds in 2011 and 2012, as evidenced in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of the said years while 2013 is yet to be obligated.
"As it is the combined amounts in 2011, overall savings, unprogrammed funds, continuing appropriations and unused appropriations - P558,061,757,000; 2012 - P598,279,178,000. This really makes President Aquino the undisputed 'Pork Barrel King' among all other Philippine presidents," Colmenares said.
His references are documents from the website of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Unprogrammed funds are funds in the budget that can only be used should there be an identified finding source.
For its part, the DBM in a statement reacted to reports that DAP funding amounted to over P300 billion from 2011 to 2012.
DBM records as of December 31, 2013 show that only a total of P136.75 billion -- P65.59 billion under the 2011 national budget (R.A. 10147) and P71.16 billion under the 2012 national budget (R.A. 10155) -- was made available to fund high-impact priority projects under the DAP for the mentioned years.
The total amount actually used from this available fund, which was P114.58 billion, is even much lower than the P352.7 billion reported.
The DBM also corrected the reported P133 billion worth of overall savings allotted for DAP for 2011 to 2012, as DBM records reflect overall savings of only P119.11 billion, comprised of P52.35 billion and P66.76 billion for the 2011 and 2012 budgets, respectively.
Of this amount, only a total of P19.69 billion was pooled through National Budget Circular No. 541 which only pertains to unobligated allotments withdrawn from different national government agencies.
"Furthermore, it should be clarified that the reported P219.73 billion generated from unprogrammed funds for the two years was just a projection. Only P17.64 billion was actually released for DAP-funded projects according to DBM records. The inaccuracy in the reported figure for the unprogrammed funds may be a misinterpretation of what was presented in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) as projections versus what was available and what was actually used," the DBM said.
The DBM said that for the record, windfall revenues for 2011 and 2012 only amounted to P18.3 billion and P13.92 billion, respectively, for a total of P32.22 billion. That was the total available fund, not P219.73 billion which was the projection in the 2011 and 2012 GAAs.
Of the P32.22 billion, only P17.64 billion of unprogrammed funds were released and utilized for DAP-funded projects.