GOVERNMENT spending on its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) containment effort totaled P355.084 billion as of Tuesday, June 9, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The June 9 total compares with the P352 billion reported in the period ending May 27, after more funds were disbursed to relief programs, including the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The funds were released through Special Allotment Release Orders, which are a DBM authorization to line agencies allowing them to incur obligations in that specific period and for a defined purpose.

The increased spending was largely due to the P500 million in new allotment releases issued to Small Business Corp. for its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso program on May 29 and the P2.02 billion released to cover the remaining funding needs for SAP on June 3.

Earlier allotment releases for the P205-billion SAP were the P100 billion released on April 2 and P96.044 billion on April 16.

The DBM estimates that 70% or P246.622 billion of the funds were sourced from discontinued programs, activities and projects, while 27% or P98.217 billion came from special purpose funds. The remaining 3% or P10.245 billion was from current budgets of implementing agencies.

At the level of notices of cash allocation (NCA) issued by the DBM, which are an authorization for government offices to disburse funds allocated to them, a total of P354.455 billion was released so far.

There were no NCA releases for the latest SAP allocations for as of Tuesday.

The documents are posted on DBM’s website and are being updated regularly. — Beatrice M. Laforga