Bragas-Regalado cited a clause from the DBM website stating that, “Funds used for programs and projects identified through DAP were sourced from savings generated by the government, the reallocation of which is subject to the approval of the President; as well as the Unprogrammed Fund that can be tapped when government has windfall revenue collections, e.g., unexpected remittance of dividends from the GOCCs and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), sale of government assets.”
“Migrant Filipino workers are suspicious as to where the funds may have come from. Sure, the Aquino government says from so-called savings, but savings from where? We have this nagging feeling that DAP funds may have come from OWWA funds, too,” said Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante Sectoral Party chairperson.
Bragas-Regalado further stated that the cited clause defining the sources of DAP funds are “overly-broad and deliberately vague”.
“Nakakapagtaka lang na biglang may napakalaking savings ng gobyerno! In the past two years, the Aquino government slashed funds for OFW welfare services and closed down embassies and consulates allegedly as austerity measures. Government hospitals and educational institutions are now being put up for sale to the private sector, supposedly for lack of funds, to the detriment of the poor. Basic utilities are also being likewise privatized because the government says we lack funds to sustain these industries. So ang lumalabas, pinagkakaitan tayo ng serbisyo para may magastos si Aquino para sa kanyang kapritso,” she said.
Bragas-Regalado also demanded that the government breakdown “unexpected remittance of dividends from GOCCs”. “Does this include welfare funds, including OWWA funds? We demand a full accounting of where the DAP funds were sourced.”
OWWA funds, reported to have reached a total of more than Php2 billion last year, come directly from mandatory USD $25 contributions from OFWs. Over the years, the OWWA funds have been met with controversy due to allegations of corruption and government abuse and misuse. Despite these, the OWWA funds have not been subjected to a full audit and no public accounting of how the funds were used, or is being used, has been available to OFWs. ###