AT P3.491T OF P3.662T; DBM releases 95% of budget

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    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said yesterday it has released 95.3 percent of the full-year budget as of end-September.

    In a press statement, the DBM said P3.491 trillion of the P3.662-trillion fiscal year 2019 obligation program has been released as of September 30.

    “The immediate release of funds will ensure that national government agencies are able to swiftly implement their programs and projects, such as the construction of new roads, schools, and hospitals, and the protection and promotion of the welfare of the poor and marginalized sectors, among others,” the DBM said.

    It said allotment releases to the line departments amounted to P2.011 trillion. These include funds allocated for agencies in the executive branch, congress, judiciary and other constitutional offices.

    Releases from Special Purpose Funds (SPFs) amounted to P317.882 billion. SPFs are budgetary allocations in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) meant for specific socio-economic purposes such as budgetary support to government corporations, allocation to local government units (LGUs), contingent fund, miscellaneous personnel benefits fund, national disaster risk reduction and management fund, and pension and gratuity fund.

    Allotment releases for automatic appropriations, or appropriations programmed annually or for some other period prescribed by law, increased to P1.07 trillion, corresponding to 99.9 percent of the 2019 program for automatic appropriations, the DBM said.

    These include 100 percent of the 2019 program for the internal revenue allotment of LGUs, pension of ex-president/ex-president widows, net lending, interest payments, and tax expenditures fund/customs duties and taxes.

    Moreover, the DBM said some P50.254 billion in payments for retirement and life insurance premium requirements was released, inclusive of P3.09 billion pertaining to additional requirements for newly-created or -filled positions in various agencies.

    The DBM has also released P25.043 billion as of end-September from the continuing appropriations of the 2018 GAA for line departments and releases from SPFs.

    Continuing appropriations refer to appropriations available to support obligations for a specified purpose or project, such as multi-year construction projects which require the incurrence of obligations beyond one fiscal year.

    As for unprogrammed appropriations, some P40.481 billion have been released, the DBM said. Unprogrammed appropriations are standby appropriations which authorize additional agency expenditures for priority programs and projects when revenue collections exceed the resource targets or when additional grants or foreign funds are generated.

    Allotments for other automatic appropriations, amounting to P25.766 billion, have also been released.