Line agencies spent 97% of budget in 2019
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Government agencies utilized 97 percent of their notices of cash allocation (NCA) last year, indicating that there has been no slowdown in the disbursement of funds despite the delay in the passage of the 2019 budget, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Based on DBM data, line agencies utilized P3.23 trillion in NCA for the whole of 2019, which is equivalent to 97 percent of the P3.34 trillion in NCA released during the period.

DBM records showed this was broadly steady compare to the 97 percent utilization rate recorded in 2018.

NCA refers to the disbursement authority issued by the DBM to cover the cash requirements of the operations, programs and projects of government agencies.

 “A higher NCA utilization rate demonstrates the capacity of line agencies to quickly disburse their allocated funds and implement their programs and projects,” the DBM said.

In a text message, Budget Undersecretary Laura Pascua said there was no slowdown in the disbursement of funds in 2019 despite the four-month delay in the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

 “This is proof of the catching up program, despite the late enactment of the budget,” Pascua said.

Of the total NCA used in 2019, P2.43 trillion was accounted for by key departments and agencies. This translated to a 96 percent NCA utilization rate for them.

Another P202.22 billion was utilized as budgetary support to government- owned and -controlled corporations, while P606.6 billion went to local government units.

The government was forced to operate under a reenacted budget in the early part of 2019 due to the four-and-a-half month delay in the signing of the budget.

This, exacerbated by the ban on public construction due to the mid-term elections, caused a slowdown in public disbursement in the earlier part of the year.

To make up for this, the government’s economic cluster formulated a spending catch up plan to enable agencies to meet their spending targets.

Based on the latest report of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr), the national government’s total disbursements last November accelerated by 22.4 percent to P365.6 billion from P298.8 billion in the same month of 2018.

This brought total expenditures in the first 11 months of 2019 to P3.3 trillion, 6.7 percent higher than the P3.1 trillion in the same period in 2018.


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