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DBM releases 77% of 2020 budget in end-February

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The national government has released 77.4 percent of the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget as of end-February, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

According to the latest data from the agency, allotment releases in the first two months of the year has already reached P3.17 trillion, 77.4 percent of the P4.1 trillion budget for 2020.

This left a balance of P927.54 billion in funds that have yet to be released by the DBM.

Historical data also showed that allotment releases from Jan. 1 to Feb. 29 showed significant improvement over the same period last year, when only P484.57 billion in allotments was issued. The government operated under a reenacted budget for the first four months of last year due to the late passage of the 2019 General Appropriations Act.

Allotment releases issued by the DBM enable agencies to incur obligations to finance the delivery of projects and services, such as education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, and infrastructure development.

Of the total amount released, the DBM said P1.92 trillion went to line agencies, including those in the executive branch, the Congress, the judiciary and other constitutional offices.

This accounted for 67 percent of the P2.85 trillion programmed for line agencies this 2020.

Almost P1.24 trillion was provided for automatic appropriations, while about P19 billion went to other releases.

Earlier, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the DBM would continue operations to ensure the unhampered release of funds amid the “enhanced community quarantine” being imposed over Luzon.

He said this is in compliance with the memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, which provided that work in the Executive department shall be done from home until April 13, 2020, subject to the formation of skeletal workforces.

 “The DBM will ensure the continued release of funds for the requirements of the government, especially for the Department of Health to address the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) situation and other urgent health concerns, funds for our infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build Program, and funds for the peace and order requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Coast Guard, among others,” he said.

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