DBM: 2018 budget release rate at 94% after 9 months

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THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) said it released 94% of the 2018 budget as of the first nine months of the year.

In a statement yesterday, the DBM said that it released P3.528 trillion of the P3.767 trillion worth of funding authorized for 2018.

“The quick yet prudent release of funds will enable agencies to promptly implement their programs and projects,” Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.

“Take note also that as early as end-January 2018, we have released 79% of the budget in line with the General Appropriations Act-as-Allotment-Order Policy,” he added.

Some P2.177 trillion of the released funds went to departments in the Executive branch, Congress, the Judiciary, and other constitutional offices.

The DBM added that special purpose funds worth P370.9 billion have been released, for a release rate of 75% against the total P494 billion authorized.

“These largely owe to releases from the Budgetary Support to Government Corporations (BSGC), Pension and Gratuity Fund (PGF), Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF), and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF),” the DBM said.

Of the automatic appropriations, P964.5 billion or 98% have been released, against the authorized total of P980.8-billion.

These include the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) representing local governments’ share of national government revenue, interest payments, and retirement and life insurance premiums.

In September, the DBM said it released P1.1 billion for the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program; P2.6 billion for the National Housing Authority (NHA) projects benefiting uniformed personnel; P5.7 billion for pension differential arrears owed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); and P1.9 billion for the NDRRMF for repair and rehabilitation projects in various regions.

“It is our job to ensure that funds are available to government agencies. We will continue to be efficient and transparent in our efforts to do so,” Mr. Diokno said. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan