Hataman suspends DAP-assisted projects in ARMM PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 July 2014 14:07

Hundreds of vital projects intended to hasten the socio-economic empowerment of Moro communities had been suspended after the Supreme Court ruled the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is unconstitutional.

It was the now dubbed “illegal” DAP that sustained the Transition Investment Support Program (TISP) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman suspended on Wednesday all projects in the ARMM funded out of the DAP.

The projects were bankrolled by DAP, through  the TISP, which started in late 2011.

Hataman told the Daily Zamboanga Times that the regional government’s suspension of all projects under TISP, also known as “stimulus fund,” has been made following the Supreme Court’s decision.

The national government had allocated P8.5 billion worth of development grants for ARMM through the TISP to sustain various programs needed to boost the region’s economy.

Hataman clarified, however, that only P2.7 billion, out of the P8.5 billion stimulus fund, had been downloaded to the autonomous region from the time the TISP began until the High Tribunal declared the DAP as unconstitutional the other day.

“We can guarantee there is no corruption issue on the projects funded out of this program. We’re freezing the funds for the projects, suspending all disbursements because of the Supreme Court ruling,” Hataman said in a press conference in Cotabato City Wednesday morning.

Hataman said the move will stop the completion of dozens of projects such as health centers and other vital facilities being implemented by the ARMM’s health department. Agricultural projects for the ARMM’s impoverished peasant communities will also be affected, according to Hataman.

The ARMM’s health, and agriculture departments were supposed to receive  P956 million, and P1 billion from the TISP, respectively.

The region’s social welfare department was supposed to get the “lion’s share” from the P8.5 billion stimulus fund  ——  a P1.9 billion-worth package for various community projects. The agency has completed P1.6 billion-worth of TISP projects in the past 20 months, according to a matrix supplied by Hataman’s staff.

The suspended P8.5 billion TISP was for projects in the autonomous region, in underdeveloped areas, mostly common strongholds of the Moro National Liberation Front, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“Some of the TISP allocations were channeled to regional offices of agencies under the Administrative Regions 9, 10, and 12.  “We can assure the public and the national government that all of the projects we have suspended were implemented religiously, with all transparency,” Hataman said.