CASH usage by government agencies rose to 83% in the first two months of 2019, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
The utilization ratio was calculated against the Notice of Cash Allocations (NCA) worth P441.42 billion at the end of February, of which P367.39 billion was disbursed.
The utilization rate in the two months to February was higher than the 64% posted in the same period last year.
An NCA is a cash authority issued quarterly by the DBM to central, regional and provincial offices and operating units to cover their cash requirements.
The agencies have until the end of this quarter to fully disburse funds allocated to them before they lapse and turn into savings.
In February, a total of P240.39 billion or 105% of the P229.48 billion authorized was spent.
The Commission on Elections had the highest utilization ratio among national government offices, logging a nearly 100% rate in the first two months of the year, using P1.184 billion out of P1.185 billion authorized.
This was followed by allotments to local government units, as well as joint legislative-executive councils, with utilization rates of 99% and 97%, respectively.
On the other hand, the Department of Foreign Affairs used P766.87 million out of the P2.83 billion allotment during in the two months ended February, for a utilization rate of only 27%.
In an earlier statement, former Budget Secretary and now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said the DBM “is devising a catch-up plan in the release and utilization of funds” as the 2019 national budget is yet to be enacted.
“In coordination with implementing agencies, we will cover all bases from allotment releases, NCA releases, to NCA utilization and disbursement plans,” Mr. Diokno said on Feb. 21.
Lawmakers remain in deadlock over details of the P3.757-trillion spending plan for the year. The government is currently operating on a reenacted 2018 budget, which leaves new programs and even big-ticket infrastructure projects unfunded. — Charmaine A. Tadalan