MANILA - Former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno slammed Senate President Franklin Drilon and current Budget chief Florencio Abad for claiming that past presidents also had mechanisms similar to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
In a statement, Diokno said: “Senator Franklin Drilon and Budget Secretary Butch Abad are misleading the people by saying that past presidents also had DAP.”
He said the use of savings in the past was for “impoundment of funds for fear of unmanageable fiscal deficit.”
He said the savings then were never used for funding new programs and projects that were not prescribed in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Diokno was Budget chief under former President Joseph Estrada.
During the Senate hearing on Thursday, Abad said similar DAP mechanisms were used by past presidents.
“The Reserve Control Account mechanism was started in the Cory Aquino administration. Ramos continued that, the mechanism equivalent to DAP. Ganoon din ang ginawa, iba lang ang tawag. Tama?” Drilon asked Abad.
Abad seconded Drilon, saying the executive branch had already resorted to cross-border transfer of funds since the 1990s.
Drilon also provided a Powerpoint presentation where he showed the so-called pooling of savings for other projects, starting from former President Corazon Aquino up to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Diokno explained: “In the past, reserve control account was used for impoundment of funds for fear of unmanageable fiscal deficit. This is not the same as generating 'contrived' savings (such as what Abad did) and applying the same for programs, projects, and activities not authorized in the GAA.”