AROUND 86% of the 2024 national budget had been released by the end of April, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

In its Status of Allotment Releases report, the DBM said it released P4.96 trillion out of the P5.768-trillion budget.

Around P809.16 billion remains undistributed, the DBM said.

The pace of releases is slightly ahead of the 85.8% rate posted by end of April 2023.

Of the total released, 97.2% or P3.4 trillion went to government agencies. Special Purpose Funds accounted for P248.66 billion.

Automatic appropriations amounted to P1.25 trillion, DBM said.

Allotment releases included P231.3 million for the Retirement and Life Insurance Premiums of several National Government agencies.

The DBM also said P10 billion was released to implementing agencies of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

Meanwhile, the DBM has released calamity funds amounting to P6.73 billion as of April 30 to rebuild houses and rehabilitate other infrastructure damaged by typhoons.

The Department of Public Works and Highways received P3.74 billion while the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was allocated P2.89 billion, according to the DBM’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund update.

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development received P102.9 million to construct 190 houses in Ilocos Sur affected by a recent earthquake, DBM said.

The DBM said that P1.34 billion was released to the DPWH for infrastructure repairs in the Southern Tagalog, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas regions affected by various typhoons and volcanic activity.

The DPWH and DSWD received P1 billion and P875 million respectively to replenish their Quick Response Funds, which are standby funds that can be tapped readily to support relief and rehabilitation efforts during calamities.

Around P16 billion under the calamity fund remains undistributed, the DBM said.

The government’s 2024 spending plan is 9.5% higher than last year’s, and is equivalent to 21.7% of gross domestic product. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz