THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it had released 97.2% or P5.1 trillion of the 2023 national budget by the end of September.

The release rate was ahead of the year-earlier pace of 95.6%, the DBM said.

At the end of September, P149.91 billion remained undistributed from the budget.

In the first nine months, releases to government agencies and departments amounted to P3.06 trillion or 97.3% of their allocations.

Special Purpose funds released by the end of the month amounted to P386 billion, representing 74.7% of the funds allocated.

Automatic Appropriation releases amounted to P1.4 trillion or 87.2% of the total.

These include the P1.01 billion for retirement and life insurance premiums of various National Government agencies and P10 billion for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson