#TalkThursday: Beyond Napoles, guarding public funds
MANILA, Philippines - Rappler talked to Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Grace Pulido Tan and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Richard Bon Moya.
In partnership with the Open Budget Partnership, Rappler airs this special edition of #TalkThursday recorded December 2 at the Discovery Suites, ground zero for the alleged pork barrel scam. The event brought together concerned citizens and groups with key figures of DBM and COA.
With controversies surrounding the lawmakers' priority development assistance fund (PDAF) and the President's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the national budget is very much under intense scrutiny. Billions of pesos are believed to have been siphoned off by corrupt officials and private individuals by channeling the funds through fake non-governmental organizations (NGOs). According to a report released by the COA in August of 2013, the pork barrel scam involved 12 senators, 180 congressmen, 82 questionable NGOs and P6.156 billion. (READ: COA special report on PDAF, 2007-2009)
The magnitude of the scam provoked public outrage and highlighted the question of accountability. (READ & WATCH: AS IT HAPPENS: Million People March #ScrapPork rally at Ayala) Both Tan and Moya insist accountability for public funds is a responsibility shared by the public and private sectors. Moya and Tan also appeal to the public to engage in participatory governance.
Watch the discussion below.