MANILA – Senate finance committee chairman Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero said on Sunday he is planning to conduct hearing on the request by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for P23 billion supplemental budget for rehabilitation of the Yolanda-ravaged areas.
Escudero said DBM Secretary Florencio ‘Butch’ Abad explained to him that the request for supplemental budget was made due to the ruling of the Supreme Court on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds.
The senator said the DBM chief explained that they cannot spend the P80 billion budget from the unprogrammed funds for Yolanda rehabilitation due to the SC ruling which declared illegal the declaration of unobligated or unprogrammed funds as savings and the funding of projects not stated in the national budget.
”I’m planning to conduct hearing next week. We will clarify how we open the funds (P80 billion), so that they need not ask for P23 billion supplemental budget,” Escudero said in a radio dzBB interview.
Under the 2014 national budget, the Congress has given the executive department an authority to spend P137 billion but only P57 billion, P20 billion from the programmed funds, have been used for the recovery and rehabilitation efforts of the areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda in November last year.
Escudero said Abad explained also that the Php23 billion was not included in the proposed Php2.606-trillion budget for 2015 “so that more projects will be funded.”
”They reason out that more projects will be funded under the fiscal year of 2015 if they will not include the supplemental budget they have been asking for Yolanda rehabilitation,” Escudero said.