Government releases 82% of 2023’s P5.3 trillion budget

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The government has released P4.3 trillion of the 2023 budget, or roughly 82 percent of the record P5.268 trillion allocation this year, as state agencies move to implement their respective projects.

Latest data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed it has issued a total of P4.31 trillion of the 2023 budget as of end-March.

This represents 81.9 percent of the national budget allocated for the year, a significant improvement from 69.4 percent in March 2022.

The DBM released a total of P3.1 trillion under the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA). This is 84.7 percent of the total P3.66 trillion financing.

Under the 2023 GAA, the DBM said it has distributed 93.8 percent or P2.95 trillion of the P3.15 trillion for departments.

In terms of special purpose funds, only 28.6 percent or P147 billion has been handed out from the P513.85 billion.

On the other hand, releases for automatic appropriations jumped and reached 66.4 percent or P1.07 trillion of the P1.61 trillion aggregate funding.

As of the end of the first quarter, the DBM has fully released allocations for the national tax allotment (P820.27 billion) and block grants (P64.76 billion).

Releases for the special account in the general fund at P32.17 billion were also completed, inclusive of the P10 billion for the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program.

In March alone, the DBM finally released 14 percent or P81.08 billion out of the P501.24 billion earmarked for interest payments.

Some 31.3 percent or P4.53 billion of the P14.5 billion for tax expenditure fund was also disbursed.

The DBM likewise issued an additional P240.76 million to cover the benefits of new hires, on top of the entire P64.2 billion in retirement and life insurance premiums of state workers, which was already fully released as of January.

On the other hand, no extra funding was issued for pensions of former presidents or their widows last month as the full allocation of P480,000 was already completed at the start of 2023.

The DBM still has to release any amount from the P28.7 billion for net lending.

Meanwhile, the DBM recorded P146 billion in other releases as of end-March. The bulk, at P125.57 billion, went to unprogrammed appropriations.

This year’s budget is expected to help the government hit its six to seven percent growth target for 2023.

For 2024, the national budget is pegged at another record P5.569 trillion, up 5.7 percent.

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