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DBM: We didn’t have P352.7-B ‘extra cash’

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has denied it had at its disposal P352.7 billion in the form of savings and unprogrammmed funds that were diverted to other projects at President Benigno Aquino III’s discretion.

Reacting to an Inquirer report on Friday, the DBM clarified that the reported P352.7 billion that the executive branch had appropriated through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in just two years was “grossly inaccurate.”

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It said DBM records as of Dec. 31, 2013, showed that only a total of P136.75 billion—P65.59 billion under the 2011 national budget (Republic Act No. 10147) and P71.16 billion under the 2012 national budget (RA 10155)—was made available to fund high-impact priority projects under the DAP for the years in question.

And the total amount actually used from these available funds, amounting to P114.58 billion, was even much lower than the P352.7 billion reported, the DBM said.

The DBM also corrected the reported P133 billion in overall savings taken over by DAP in 2011 to 2012, saying DBM records showed overall savings of only P119.11 billion, composed of P52.35 billion and P66.76 billion for the 2011 and 2012 budgets, respectively.

‘Unobligated allotments’

Of the P119.11 billion, the DBM said only P19.69 billion had been “pooled” under its National Budget Circular No. 541, adding that these were “unobligated allotments” that were withdrawn from different government agencies.

The DBM further 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, it said, citing its records.

“The inaccuracy in the reported figure for the unprogrammed funds may be a misinterpretation of what was presented in the General Appropriations Act [the national budgets] as projections versus what was available and what was actually used,” the DBM statement read.

Mere projections

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It said that 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 funds, not P219.73 billion, which was actually only projections in the 2011 and 2012 national budgets, the DBM explained.

And of the P32.22 billion, only P17.64 billion of unprogrammed funds were released and used for DAP-funded projects, it said.

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TAGS: Aquino administration, Benigno Aquino III, DBM, Department of Budget and Management, General Appropriations Act, Plunder, President Aquino
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