DND open to Senate probe on alleged QRF misuse

By on January 5, 2015

Senate of the Philippines. Wikipedia photo
Senate of the Philippines. Wikipedia photo

MANILA — The Department of National Defense (DND) has expressed willingness to be investigated by the Senate on the alleged misuse of large percentage its 2013 “Quick Reaction Fund” which amounted to Php352.5 million.

DND spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez also expressed confidence that they will be cleared in the investigation.

“Of course all these efforts are welcome, it’s important for us to explain all these things, importante ring maikuwento namin sa taongbayan kung ano ba talaga nangyari diyan,” he added.

Galvez issued this statement in wake of Sen. Francis Escudero’s announcements that the DND must be investigated to determine whether it had misused its QRF.

The DND spokesperson also stressed that they can fully explain and shed light on the matter.

A Commission On Audit (COA) report earlier claimed that much of the DND’s 2013 QRF was utilized by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in paying for its fuel consumption and repairs of its offices rather than utilizing the money to help victims of natural disasters.

“We have actually coordinated this with the COA, we have already submitted our reply to them,” Galvez said.

“This issue was, if I’m not mistaken, this was way back in April (and) we believe we will be cleared with this one,” he stated.

The DND last Saturday released a statement denying reports that a big chunk of its emergency funding in 2013 had been misused by the military.

“We reiterate that the DND released and used its QRF in its mission to include capacitating stakeholders for disaster preparedness/mitigation and operations during the disaster itself. This is so that losses and damages may be limited and that conditions may be quickly normalized,” Galvez said.

He explained that as defined under the Government Appropriations Act, the QRF is a built-in budgetary allocation that represents pre-disaster or standby funds for agencies in order to immediately assist areas stricken by catastrophes and crises.

The QRF allocated to the DND, as mandated, is used for mobilization and preparedness activities, Galvez pointed out.