DAR already addressed COA findings on delayed projects —Palace

on . Posted in DAR In The News
gma on lineThe Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) already addressed delays in the implementation of its multibillion-peso projects pointed out by the Commission on Audit (COA), Malacañang said Thursday.

At a press briefing, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the delayed projects audited by COA in 2013 were already mostly completed last year.

"According to the Department of Agrarian Reform, “corrective measures initiated in 2012 achieved results in 2014, thereby accelerating project implementation and completion,” Coloma told reporters.

He explained that the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project Phase 3 (ARISP-3), which was stalled based on the 2013 COA report, "has achieved a physical accomplishment of 95 percent” last year.

Coloma added that Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP-2), which was also questioned by state auditors, was already 76-percent complete by the end of 2014. 

In its 2013 audit report, the COA pointed out that the DAR failed to fully implement these P12.8-billion development projects.

COA findings on DA

Coloma also defended the Department of Agriculture following adverse COA findings on the agency, saying that both the DA and the DAR "exerted efforts to ensure that funds were utilized with existing laws, rules and regulations.”

The Palace official said that the supposedly misused P14.2 billion in DA funds had three sources: the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the graft-tainted Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), and the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF).

The Palace official said the DA is already expediting the DAP-funded projects, which will be implemented by its regional offices, local government units and the Department of Public Works and Highways. 

Certain acts under the DAP were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year.

Coloma further indicated that the PDAF-funded projects were not implemented because the DA stopped releasing pork barrel funds in 2013, before the Supreme Court declared these discretionary funds as unconstitutional.

The Palace official also explained that the ACEF projects were “suspended in 2010 due to poor collection performance." —KG, GMA News

Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/474962/news/nation/dar-already-addressed-coa-findings-on-delayed-projects-palace