MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Commission of Audit (COA) recently returned to the national treasury the P65.1 million in Disbursement Acceleration Program funds it received from the Department of Budget and Management in 2011.
In a chance interview after a forum on good governance, COA Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan said the P65.1 million that they recently transmitted to the Bureau of Treasury (BOT) came from the P136.5 million that the DBM released to COA in 2011.
She said the released fund was supposed to be for information technology upgrade and hiring of additional litigation experts.
“Yes, we we’re given money, under the Disbursement Acceleration Program…So sa tatlong items namin yan ginastos, sa IT, which is software and hardware development. And then we also used a little part of it for CCTV including in the regions and then yung (hiring ng) mga litigation lawyers,” Tan said.
On April 1, the Supreme Court declared some practices under DAP as unconstitutional.
Tan pointed out that when she resumed office as COA commissioner in early 2011, the agency was in dire need of additional litigation lawyers due to high number of backlog cases as well as outdated computer units and systems, making it hard to compile and keep track of documentary evidence.
“Kasi nung pumasok ako nung 2011, April palang pero halos wala nang pera. We have thousands and thousands of backlog in cases, some dating back to 2006, 2005, so we needed to move them…May mga computers kami na floppy disk pa,” Tan said.
Tan said it was only in early 2012 when they learned that the budget released by the DBM came from DAP.
“Kasi when we were asking (for budget for the project) we didn’t know na may DAP pala. But you know, it’s over and done with at nakapagsilbi naman, nakatulong naman sa komisyon so maraming salamat at kahit papaano ay nabigyan kami,” Tan said.
“May naiwan pa na P65.1 million and although obligated, meaning naka-earmark na yun, di bale na, binalik nalang namin,” she added. (MNS)