Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad Jr. faces intense grilling today as the Senate finance committee holds a hearing today on the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
Abad is said to be the architect of the DAP, some provisions of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last July 1.
While it was only Abad who was invited to the hearing, the secretary has asked representatives from the Department of Finance and the National Economic Development Authority to assist him today.
Senators earlier asked Abad to explain details of DAP spending.
Sen. Francis Escudero, finance committee chair, and Sen. Sergio Osmeña III have asked Malacañang to explain to the people where the DAP funds went and how these were spent.
Abad was to attend a hearing originally scheduled last July 21 but begged off because he was busy with budget preparations. Abad then asked the hearing be moved to July 30 but this was rejected by the panel.
“Yes, we understand that the budget season is here. We considered and thus agreed to postpone the hearing but only until July 24 and with the understanding that Secretary Abad should be there,” Escudero said.
The panel directed Abad to submit the complete list of special allotment release orders that were issued under the DAP, including “projects/purpose and the amount of the releases.”
Escudero earlier said he wanted the budget secretary to clarify reports the total disbursed funds under the DAP amounted to P372 billion.
“What DBM gave to the committee only amounted to over P200 billion,” he said.
Written by: JP Lopez