MANILA, Philippines - The city government of Marikina reportedly misused some P1.986 million in congressional pork barrel and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds last year, according to a recently released Commission on Audit (COA) report.
The state auditors said the money was spent for purposes other that for which they were intended.
Of the total amount, P933,955 came from priority development assistance fund (PDAF) allocations while P1,052,394 was sourced from DAP funds.
The COA directed city officials, led by Mayor Del de Guzman, to return or refund the money to the local government unit’s (LGU) general fund.
Paul Sison, the city government’s public information office chief, said the case has been settled – the funds were “not misused” and Marikina was “wrongly charged.”
“We’ve remitted the (money) immediately to the National Treasury as instructed and following the COA recommendation,” he said.
Marikina’s pork barrel funds was supposed to be used for vehicle purchases, financial assistance to indigent and displaced families, families in crisis situations, community organizations, and civic and community activities like financial assistance, burial assistance, medical assistance, “balik probinsya” transportation assistance, educational assistance, and other anti-poverty assistance programs.
However, the COA said the money was used for printing of tarpaulin signs for various activities, procurement of shirts as assistance to various organizations, office supplies, spare parts, and mass cards.
State auditors said the city government spent the DAP funds – meant for support and financial assistance to indigents and displaced families, families in crisis situations, community organizations, civic and community activities, and sports development programs – on spare parts, office and other supplies, various appliances for gift giving, health benefit package for employees of national office and other supplies for various activities. – With Non Alquitran