AFP to return P192.5-M Maguindanao road project fund
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines will return the unused P192.5 million for road projects in Maguindanao back to the Bureau of Treasury.
In a statement on Friday, July 13, Chief Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said that he had asked the AFP to return the unused funds under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) or Pamana program.
The Pamana program is the government's peace and development framework for empowering conflict-affected areas in the country.
A total of P250 million was allocated for the concreting of the Lamud-Ganassi-Biarong Road in South Upi and the Makir-Sibuto-Kinabaka Road in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.
In July 2012, funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were initially downloaded to the AFP as the implementing agency. However, the AFP encountered delays in the implementation of the program.
In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled some specific acts under the DAP are unconstitutional. The remaining funds for the project were not fully released due to the decision.
In a meeting with AFP officials, Dureza said the delays "had caused serious concern" among the constituents in the area.
He added that the project cost "would vary from the program of work that costs 6 years ago."
Brigadier General Dionisio Baudin Jr, 52nd Engineering Brigade Commander, said that the AFP "will comply" and would consider "securing future fresh funds" based on the expected costing for the same project 6 years later.
If the funds are not returned, the Commission on Audit (COA) may declare the unused budget as unliquidated.
In its 2017 audit report, COA said that some P267.45 million under the Pamana program remained unliquidated, pending status reports on some projects and liquidation documents from implementing agencies. – Rappler.com