More than half of 2021 budget released in Jan

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    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released 58.3 percent of the full-year 2021 budget in January, the agency’s data showed.

    According to data posted on its website, the DBM has released P2.63 trillion of the P4.5 trillion 2021 obligation program as of January 31.

    The remaining balance for the year is P1.88 trillion.

    For comparison, in January last year, the DBM released P2.13 trillion of the P4.1 trillion 2020 budget.

    The releases for the said month accounted for 51.9 percent of the 2020 program.

    Meanwhile, allotment releases to departments amounted to P2.3 trillion, or 87 percent of the 2021 program. These include funds allocated for agencies in the executive branch, congress, the judiciary, and other constitutional offices.

    Releases from special purpose funds (SPFs) amounted to P74.4 billion, or 16.9 percent of the full-year program, the DBM data showed.

    SPFs are budgetary allocations in the General Appropriations Act 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, amounted to P251.1 billion, or 17.7 percent of release over program.

    These include the 2021 program for the internal revenue allotment of LGUs, pension of ex-president/ex-president widows, special account in the general fund, net lending, interest payments, tax expenditures fund/customs duties and taxes, and retirement and life insurance premium requirements.