Duterte signs laws extending validity of Bayanihan 2, 2020 budget
Photo shows President Duterte gesturing as he updates the nation on the government’s COVID-19 response effort during a televised address at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang the other night.
The STAR/File photo

Duterte signs laws extending validity of Bayanihan 2, 2020 budget

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - January 6, 2021 - 5:01pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed laws extending the availability of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act funds and the P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget in a move that will allow the government to continue its pandemic response and economic recovery programs.

Republic Act No. 11519 extended the shelf life of the Bayanihan 2 appropriations until June 30 this year.

Republic Act No. 11520, meanwhile, extended the availability of the appropriations in last year's budget until December 31. Duterte signed the two laws last December 29, documents released by Malacañang Wednesday showed.

The Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 is an extension of the Bayanihan to Heal as one Act, which granted the president additional powers to strengthen the government's measures against COVID-19.

A total of P107.96 billion has been released under Bayanihan 2 until the law expired last December 19, the budget department reported recently. About P36.76 billion in funds have not been released to implementing agencies as of last month.  

Republic Act No. 11519, however, did not extend the president's authority to exercise powers granted under Bayanihan 2, including the authority to reprogram, reallocate, and realign savings on other items in the appropriations of the executive department in the 2020 budget. The authority can only be exercised until December 19, the law said.

Fund releases to local governments and government financial institutions for programs, projects, and activities under the Bayanihan 2 will also be valid for release, obligation, and disbursement until June 30 except for the balances of the fund releases sourced from savings in last year's budget, which shall be governed by the applicable provisions of the 2020 General Appropriations Act. Appropriations covered by the standby fund will also be available for release, obligation, and disbursement up to June 30.

Republic Act No. 11520, meanwhile, extended the availability of the appropriations in the 2020 budget until the end of 2021 to ensure that the government programs that were delayed because of the pandemic will still be implemented.

After the validity period, all undisbursed funds will not be available for release unless Congress passes a new law allowing it.

The balances of fund transfers between agencies, instrumentalities, and government-owned or -controlled corporations, which, while obligated, remain unused and undisbursed as of Dec. 31, 2021 will return to the unappropriated surplus of the general fund.

Appropriations for infrastructure and capital outlays for fiscal year 2020 will also be valid for obligation until the end of 2021.

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