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State agencies gain early access to Q2 funds
In a statement on Friday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it has released all the notices of cash allocation (NCA) agencies need to have their money from April to June credited to their individual bank accounts.
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State agencies gain early access to Q2 funds

Prinz Magtulis (Philstar.com) - March 27, 2020 - 4:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — Funds needed by national government agencies to operate for the entire second quarter would be deposited as early as April 1, giving offices sufficient allocations to quickly respond to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it has released all the notices of cash allocation (NCA) agencies need to have their money from April to June credited to their individual bank accounts.

NCAs are issued by DBM to banks holding the accounts of state agencies. Once issued, the Bureau of the Treasury is then authorized to credit funds to the bank accounts of offices, which in this case will happen “on the first working day of April 2020.”

NCAs are always issued on a quarterly basis, but funds are credited on a monthly basis. In this case, DBM is accelerating fund releases by depositing all second-quarter funds in one go.

“(This is) to ensure unhampered operation of the national government in the midst of the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic,” DBM said.

While DBM did not say how much in total it approved, 77.4% of the P4.1-trillion outlay had been released to agencies as of February. A budget release means agencies may start entering into contracts with private firms for services they need throughout the year.

With NCAs signed, funds which are already contracted may now be disbursed and be paid to contractors according to agreed schedule with the government.

“The funds to be made available by April 1 are for their operating expenses, personal services, maintenance and operating expenses, and capital outlay,” Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said in a text message.

Included in the NCA releases were money financing the mid-year bonuses of 1.36 million civil workers, but Avisado said agencies would have to wait until May 15 to give them out to their employees. A mid-year bonus is equivalent to one month worth of salary.

“Since the law says that it will be released not earlier than May 15 then it follows that funds for that will be available by May,” Avisado said.

On the flip side, the DBM included on the NCAs it released funds for the continued implementation of salary increases under Republic Act 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law 5, which grants an average of five percent salary hike each year until 2023.

Last week, Avisado said all state workers, including around 159,000 people under job contracts, will be paid in full despite some of them staying home, following the month-long enhanced community quarantine of Luzon to fight COVID-19 that ends April 12.

DBM NOVEL CORNAVIRUS
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