THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it released 96.7% of the 2019 budget in the first 10 months.

In a statement yesterday, the DBM said it released P3.542 trillion out of the P3.662 trillion 2019 budget.

Of the total, P2.027 trillion worth of allotment releases went to line departments including the Executive branch, Congress, the Judiciary as well as other constitutional offices.

DBM released P337.42 billion in special-purpose funds, which are allocations in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for specific socio-economic purposes.

This includes budgetary assistance to state firms and allocations for local governments, the contingent fund, the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management fund, as well as the pension and gratuity fund.

Automatic appropriations accounted for P1.075 trillion, the bulk of which were internal revenue allotments of local government units (P575.52 billion) and interest payments (P399.57 billion).

“The immediate release of funds by the DBM will ensure that national government agencies are able to swiftly implement their programs and projects, such as the construction of new roads, schools, and hospitals, and the protection and promotion of the welfare of the poor and marginalized sectors, among others,” it said.

The unreleased balances for the rest of the year total P119.34 billion.

Meanwhile, the releases of continuing appropriations from the 2018 budget amounted to P25.54 billion, consisting of support for projects that require obligations of more than one year, such as multi-year construction projects.

At the end of October, P50.518 billion was released for unprogrammed appropriations, which are standby appropriations that provide agencies additional spending when revenue collections exceed targets.

Allotments for other automatic appropriations were also released worth P26.641 billion. — Beatrice M. Laforga