Government releases P92.35 billion for COVID-19 measures
According to the latest data available on the DBM’s website, the total allotment released by the government under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act amounted to P92.35 billion as of Nov. 20.
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Government releases P92.35 billion for COVID-19 measures

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government has released a total of P92.35 billion to support the COVID-19 recovery programs of various agencies, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported yesterday.

According to the latest data available on the DBM’s website, the total allotment released by the government under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act amounted to P92.35 billion as of Nov. 20.

The DBM said P89.41 billion of the amount was charged against the P140 billion stimulus package provided under the law.

The remaining P2.93 billion came from regular funds under the 2020 General Appropriations Act.

Including funds released during and after the implementation of the first COVID-19 stimulus or Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the DBM said the total amount released for the Philippines’ COVID-19 response since March amounted to P486.07 billion.

Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan 2 Law provides a P140 billion stimulus package that aims to help the country recover from the impact of the pandemic, plus another P25.5 billion in standby funds.

DBM data showed that the Department of Health remained the largest recipient of Bayanihan 2 funds at P21.57 billion.

The allocation for the Department of Agriculture has increased to P16.31 billion, following the release of additional funds for the Agriculture Stimulus Package.

Releases to the Department of Labor and Employment also rose to P15.90 billion to cover additional funding requirements for the agency’s COVID-19 related initiatives, including the emergency repatriation program.

The Department of Finance, for its part, has so far received P11.18 billion, with the bulk of the funds going to local government units for their respective recovery programs.

Meanwhile, Bayanihan 2 releases for the Department of Transportation and Department of Social and Welfare Development stood at P9.5 billion and P6 billion, respectively.

The Department of Education has received P4 billion for the implementation of the Digital Education, Information Technology and Digital Infrastructure and Alternative Learning Modalities.

Funds released to the Department of the Interior and Local Government reached P2.57 billion, with additional funds issued to help the Philippine National Police manage various testing centers and quarantine facilities nationwide.

Other agencies who received Bayanihan 2 funds are the Department of Public Works and Highways (P1.87 billion), Department of National Defense (P1.31 billion), Department of Trade and Industry (P1.1 billion), Department of Foreign Affairs (P820 million), Philippine Sports Commission (P180 million), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (P28.37 million), and the University of the Philippines (P15 million).

To facilitate the release of funds, President Duterte earlier gave Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado the authority to approve budget requests under the Bayanihan 2 law.

Avisado said the DBM would process requests within 24 hours upon their receipt to speed up the process.

COVID-19 DBM
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