₱26.7-B fund for AKAP not for personal or political agenda, DSWD chief assures
₱26.7-B fund for AKAP not for personal or political agenda, DSWD chief assures
₱26.7-B fund for AKAP not for personal or political agenda, DSWD chief assures
by Ellicia Del Mundo15 February 2024

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Thursday, February 15, assured that the ₱26.7 billion fund for Ayuda para sa Kapos ang Kita (AKAP) program would not be used for personal or political agenda.

Interviewed on DZRH Dos Por Dos, Gatchalian noted that the guidelines for AKAP are still under works and that they haven't released any funds yet.

"Hinuhubog pa ang guidelines. Ni isang kusing para sa ponding ito, wala pang nagagastos. Sana ang alegasyon at mga agam-agam na gagamitin sa personal at political agenda o nagamit na, hindi. Dahil ngayon mismo, pwede kong bigyan ng certification mula sa financial management services office," he said.

"Wala pang nadi-disburse ni one centavo para sa pondo na ito. Hinuhubog pa guidelines para masigurong angkop at sumusunod sa alituntunin sa batas ng budget," the DSWD chief continued.


During the Senate probe into the alleged People's Initiative bribery last Tuesday, Senator Imee Marcos questioned the ₱26.7 billion allocated for AKAP, a program that she described as "unnamed, unfamiliar, with no guidelines or whatsoever and no target beneficiaries."

She also pointed out that the AKAP program was not included in DSWD's 2024 budget proposal but this "magically" inserted in the agency's approved budget.

Citing her informants, Marcos alleged that there was a plan to use the ₱26.7 billion fund to buy signatures for the People's Initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution or Charter change.

Gatchalian confirmed that the aid program was not in their proposed budget.


"Aaminin ko rin, noong nagpasa ako ng budget proposal, wala pa talaga doon 'yan [AKAP]. Kaya noong natapos ang bicameral conference at na-approve ang GAA [General Appropriations Act], laking tuwa namin. Dahil ang gusto namin sanang i-propose, nailagay na. Happy kami kasi una, hindi na kami magpo-propose at nakita rin ng Kongreso ang value nitong programa," he said, adding that it was ACT CIS Rep. Erwin Tulfo who pushed the AKAP.

AKAP, according to the DSWD chief, targets to provide assistance to nearly poor individuals or minimum wage earners.

"Pinagtuunan din ng pansin ang mamamayan na maaaring kumikita pero nanganganib na maging mahirap dahil sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon," he added.

Gatchalian made certain that guidelines for AKAP program woud be published once completed.


In January, reports surfaced that DSWD's Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation fund was used for the signature campaign for People's Initiative.

Marcos told DZRH that she personally received an anonymous message offering her ₱20 million in exchange for 20,000 signatures.

Of the ₱20 million, ₱5 million would allegedly come from the social welfare department, ₱10 million from the health department, and ₱5 million from the labor department.

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