DSWD clarifies alleged lump-sum allocation
We are writing to clarify the issues raised in the news article, “P424.1-B lump-sum funds inserted in 2015 budget, SC told” (Inquirer.net, 9/29/15).
The article reported that a mother petition, filed in the Supreme Court, seeks to stop the implementation of specific provisions in the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA) in which P424.1-billion worth of “scandalous and unconscionable freight of lump sum” is hidden.
The article went on to say that in a 28-page petition, the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), led by its officers, former budget secretary Benjamin Diokno, former senator Francisco Tatad and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, alleged that the amounts are embedded in nine strategic departments and two agencies “of the executive department which are highly vulnerable to the whirling of transactional, rent-seeking and patronage politics.” The article noted that the petition stated that the Department of Social Welfare and Development has P102.663+ billion of lump-sum appropriation.
May we reiterate that the DSWD has no lump sum or discretionary funds amounting to P102.6 billion from the 2015 GAA. We have emphasized this in a press release we issued to various media groups on July 15, 2015, which was published in Inquirer’s online site the same day.
It’s not possible for the DSWD to have this P102.6-billion in lump sum; the 2015 budget of the department is P107.8 billion, P102 billion of which is for maintenance and other operating expenses. The budget breakdown can be found in pages 909 to 928 of the national budgetary document.
The DSWD’s 2015 budget includes allocations for the following major categories: general administration and support (P980.6+ million), support to operations (P265.7+ million), and operations (P86+ million). Part of the operations budget includes P62.2 billion for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, P5.9 billion for Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, P4.9 billion for the Sustainable Livelihood Program, and P3.3 billion for the Supplemental Feeding Program.
The budget also has separate allotments for locally-funded and foreign-assisted projects—P3.5+ million and P17+ million, respectively.
The department continues to uphold and adhere to the principles of transparency and accountability, especially when it comes to public funds.
—JAVIER R. JIMENEZ, assistant secretary and spokesperson, Department of Social Welfare and Development
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