MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is ready to cooperate with any investigation that will be initiated on the controversial Malampaya fund.
This stemmed from the Commission on Audit report that questioned the use of 184 Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) amounting to around P38-billion.
The said orders were done under the Arroyo and Aquino administrations.
A big chunk of the fund were allocated to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of Agriculture.
The Malampaya fund was designed to be used exclusively for exploration activities and other activities related to energy resources.
“So when you release money for construction of roads, or maybe even giving subsidy for drivers, the jeepney drivers, to me that is not the appropriate use of the fund, right?” said DBM Sec. Benjamin Diokno.
To date, there are P200-billion left in the fund, which the DBM leaves to Congress to decide for its proper allocation.
“We have to change the purpose of that fund, because the government is no longer involved in this activity. It’s a private sector or a joint venture activity. So that P200-billion fund, for all practical purposes, is very difficult to access that or used that, so might as well give it to the treasury and let Congress appropriate the money for our purposes,” Diokno said.
He added that they have not and will not conduct any changes in the guidelines on the use of the said controversial fund. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
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