THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said P5.01 trillion or 99.7% of the 2022 budget had been released to national agencies and local government units (LGUs) at the end of September.

The DBM’s Allotment Release report indicates that P12.76 billion remains undistributed.

The releases are 15.1% of the year-earlier total of P4.35 trillion, which accounted for nearly 96.5% of the 2021 budget.

By the end of September 2022, releases to government agencies and departments amounted to P2.81 trillion, or 97.4% of the total. 

Special Purpose (SP) funds released by the end of totaled P351.58 billion, or 76.9%.

SP funds include budget support for LGUs, 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 Appropriation releases amounted to P1.58 trillion, representing 93.9% of the allotment for these purposes.

This includes P10 billion for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and P2.1 billion for retirement and life insurance premiums of various National Government agencies, the DBM said.

Other automatic appropriations include the National Tax Allocation for LGUs, block grants, interest payments, and the tax expenditure fund.

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

The proposed P5.268-trillion budget for 2023 is currently with Congress, and seeks to allocate even more funding for education, health, agriculture, and infrastructure. — Keisha B. Ta-asan