Palace rejects claims gov’t using calamities as excuse to use DAP

By Janice Cave

MANILA, (PNA) — A Palace official on Friday dismissed claims that the government is using as an excuse the recent spate of calamities that struck the country for the use of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) or realigned savings.

At a media briefing, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government has to tap savings to help in the reconstruction of areas that were hit by typhoons this year.

“That’s a statement of fact. It is a statement of fact that we tap savings to help the reconstruction in Typhoon Pablo. While it is correct that we have other funding sources given the number of challenges that we’ve faced this year, among them iyong sa Habagat, sa Typhoon Santi, yung rehabilitation that is necessary in Zamboanga, we do have to look at existing sources of fund for the government that can be utilized for these purposes,” Valte said.

Due to the calamities that hit the country, she said chances are, contingency and calamity funds would be depleted.

>”Tinitignan din natin kung ano yung mga posibleng pondong pwede nating pagkuhanan and if you remember Pablo happened at the end of the year already. So chances are, maliit nalang iyong matitira doon sa mga contingent at sa calamity fund, that’s why we have to look for other funding sources,” she said.

Meanwhile, Valte said Aquino has instructed Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Social Welfare Sec. Dinky Soliman and Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda to monitor and assess the situation in Bohol, the province heavily damaged by the 7.2 quake last Tuesday.

She said they have been getting reports that there are still isolated areas yet to be reached by rescue and relief efforts due to impassable roads.

“The consensus from the coordination meeting was to identify these roads and to identify alternative routes for rescuers to take,” she said.

“We’re doing airlift and sealift for food drops to make sure relief reaches the ones who need them,” she added.