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Cash releases hit record high of P4.1 trillion in 2021

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
Cash releases hit record high of P4.1 trillion in 2021
Preliminary data from the Budget department showed the amount of the notices of cash allocation (NCAs) issued last year was six percent higher than the P3.85 trillion disbursed in 2020.
Philstar.com / File

MANILA, Philippines — A record P4.1 trillion worth of allocations were released to state agencies last year to bankroll the national government’s COVID response measures, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Preliminary data from the Budget department showed the amount of the notices of cash allocation (NCAs) issued last year was six percent higher than the P3.85 trillion disbursed in 2020.

The government also booked a higher utilization rate of 96 percent, as just P162 billion in NCAs were left unused by the end of 2021.

Local governments tasked to release social amelioration during shifts to lockdown and upgrade health facilities to address infection spikes received the highest amount at P909.51 billion.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Education followed obtaining NCAs worth P687.44 billion and P614.17 billion last year, respectively.

Based on data, the DPWH used up 89 percent of its NCAs, while the Education department spent 99 percent of its own.

Further, the Department of Interior and Local Government secured P306.8 billion in NCAs, while the Department of National Defense got P301.26 billion for its part, as they registered utilization rates of 99 percent and 98 percent, respectively.

According to the DBM, the Department of Transportation used up all of the P62.31 billion worth of NCAs it received last year.

Outside of the executive, the Judiciary, Commission on Audit, Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights all recorded 100 percent utilization rates for the NCAs they took from the DBM.

On the other hand, the Department of Information and Communications Technology posted the worst utilization rate at 63 percent for the P10.32 billion in NCAs it obtained.

Likewise, the Office of the President spent only 76 percent of its P9.53 billion, while the Department of Energy (DOE) depleted just 80 percent of its P2.05 billion.

National and local agencies, including state-run firms, receive their NCAs from the DBM through the modified disbursement scheme and government servicing banks. They are then required to use them to pay for the cash requirements of their programs and projects.

NCAs can only be used either through cash disbursements – where checks and advice to debit account are issued to creditors and payees – or outstanding checks – where checks are issued but have yet to be encashed by the recipient.

The DBM raised its NCA releases last year to finance mostly public health and social protection measures mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

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