Dureza to AFP: return P192.5M PAMANA fund for Maguindanao roads

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 July) — The Office of the Presidential Advikser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has asked Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to return P192.5 million released in 2012 for road projects in Maguindanao under the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) program but have remained unimplemented.

In a meeting on July 10 with AFP officials led by the 52nd Engineering Brigade commander Brigadier General Dionisio Baudin Jr., Presidential Adviser on the Peace Processs Jesus Dureza pointed to the delays in the implementation of the P100-million concreting of the Lamud-Ganassi-Biarong road in the municipality of South Upi and the P150-million concreting of the Makir-Sibuto-Kinabaka road in the municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat.

A total of PhP 192.5 million had been downloaded to the AFP for these projects starting 2012 under the Disbursement Acceleration Program of the Aquino administration, Dureza said.

Unless returned, the Commission on Audit would classify this as “unliquidated.”

Dureza said the remaining amount —  57.5 million — was not released because of the Supreme Court ruling declaring the DAP funds illegal.

Dureza took over OPAPP on June 30, 2016 when President Rodrigo Duterte became President. At that time, the delays in implementing the projects had caused “serious concern among the peace constituents in the areas,” a press release from the OPAPP said.

The OPAPP wrote the AFP asking that the unused money be returned due to the delay and the possibility that the project cost would now be different from the 2012 program of work.

The OPAPP said that during the July 10 meeting, the AFP representatives “concurred with his decision that the long unused amount be returned to the government coffers, without prejudice to securing future fresh funds based on the expected different costing due to the considerable lapse of about six years.”

Baudin said the AFP “will comply (with) whatever instruction is given to us.” (MindaNews)