MANILA – State auditors from the Commission on Audit urged the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P) to refund the P600-million Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds it received in 2013, so that its projects would not be questioned and delayed.
The COA warned the MCA-P that using DAP funds may result to legal repercussions later on. Thus, its programs and projects may be challenged in the long run.
MCA-P funds were intended to be used for the Secondary National Roads Development Project (SNRDP). The infrastructure project proposed to reconstruct major roads, build bridges and install flood control facilities in Samar provinces.
For this, the COA suggested that MCA-P ask the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to replace the P600 million it will refund should it decide to do so.
Aside from the DAP funds, the US government funded $214.493 million to the SNRDP.
MCA-P, for its part, explained that its funding was not covered by the Supreme Court ruling on ‘unconstitutional’ DAP funds.
“The Supreme Court did not declare that DAP per se is unconstitutional or void. At the very least, it is very clear that the receipt of P600 million does not constitute a cross-border transfer of savings…considering that the MCA-P is a government entity aligned within the Executive,” it explained.
But listening to COA’s advise, MCA-P had already coordinated with the DPWH, asking for the funding as it planed to return the P600 million.
The Supreme Court, however, clarified that some DAP programs and projects ‘remained valid under the operative fact doctrine.’