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Budget department sets spending deadlines for cash-based 2020 budget

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THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has set deadlines for spending the 2020 Budget, requiring agencies to wrap up capital outlays for infrastructure projects by the end of the year while giving them until the end of 2021 or later to disburse funds to finance the completion procedures for these projects.

The DBM, which is implementing a cash-based system for budgeting to ensure that funds are spent promptly, said the guidelines will “synchronize fund release with the implementation of the overall physical and financial plans, targets and schedules submitted by the departments, agencies, and/or operating units.”

The national budget circular No. 578 was issued on Jan. 6, the day the P4.1-trillion budget was signed. A copy of the circular was published on the DBM website Wednesday.

General Appropriations Act items deemed valid for obligation until Dec. 31, 2020 are infrastructure capital outlays (ICOs), including subsidy releases to GOCCs for infrastructure projects; as well as items associated with maintenance and other operating expenses.

Given a Dec. 31, 2021 deadline were spending items for the completion of construction, inspection, acceptance and payment for infrastructure-related capital outlays.

Delivery, inspection, acceptance and payment for maintenance and other operating expenses and other capital outlay items should not come later than June 30, 2021.

Meanwhile, budget items listed as financial assistance to local government units (LGUs) released during the year are also available for disbursement until Dec. 31, 2021.

“After the end of validity period, all unreleased appropriations or unexpended or undisbursed funds shall revert to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund… and shall not be available for expenditure except by subsequent legislative enactment,” according to the circular.

The circular was addressed to departments, agencies, state universities and colleges (SUCs), GOCCs and LGUs, including agencies classified under the Constitutional Fiscal Autonomy Group.

This year’s budget is 12% higher than 2019’s P3.66-trillion budget. — Beatrice M. Laforga





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