THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Tuesday that it had released P4.46 trillion, or 88.8% of the national budget, to national agencies and local government units as of the end of May.

The DBM said in its Allotment Releases report for May that P562.50 billion remains to be distributed.

The release rate is running ahead of the pace in 2021. That year, the DBM had released P3.74 trillion or nearly 83% of the budget by the end of May 2021.

In May 2022, releases to government agencies and departments amounted to P2.74 trillion, or 95.1% of their allocations.

Special Purpose (SP) funds released by the end of the month amounted to P251.56 billion, or 55% of the SP budget.

SP funds include budget support for local government units, the Contingent Fund, the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.

Automatic Appropriation releases amounted to P1.33 trillion, representing 79.4% of the funds allocated to them.

This includes P10 billion for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and P1.60 billion in funding for retirement and life insurance premiums of various National Government agencies, the DBM said.

Other automatic appropriations include the internal revenue allotment for local governments, block grants, interest payments, the tax expenditure fund, and customs duties and taxes.

The national budget for 2022 is configured to bring about a recovery from the pandemic. The budget is equal to 21.8% of the projected gross domestic product, with about a fifth set aside for capital outlays, which include infrastructure spending. — Tobias Jared Tomas