In the light of recent news reports citing lists of legislators endorsing projects to various government agencies, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said that it regularly receives its share of endorsements and requests for projects, not only from legislators, but from other sectors as well such as LGUs, Sanggunians and Barangays. It even receives project requests from civil society organizations, churches and private individuals.
The DAR also explained that all of these requests go through project evaluation processes in due course. It determines if the projects requested or endorsed actually fall within the mandate of the Department.
Even when they do, the Department still determines whether the projects actually benefit the intended beneficiaries or if it falls within the scope of existing DAR projects before it can accede to such requests.
The Department has, in a number of cases, declined to utilize the funds endorsement for projects that were that were referred to it by legislators as the CARP budgets proved sufficient to undertake such.
In some cases these funds were simply withdrawn as the Department insisted that implementation of these projects go through the usual processes prescribed by COA rules.
As early as 2012, the DAR has started its own internal review of alleged misuse. Documents and other evidence it has collected has already been submitted to the COA, the Ombudsman, the DOJ, and the NBI. It continues to cooperate with the ongoing investigations of these agencies.