THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) has extended the deadline for state agencies preparing their 2021 budget plans (BP) to May 25 amid the 30-day Luzon-wide lockdown.

Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado issued National Budget Memorandum No. 134 extending the deadline from the previous May 11 schedule to give agencies more time to prepare their plans, especially those implementing work-from-home arrangements and operating on skeleton workforce during the quarantine period.

The order also assured offices the budget proposal system (OSBPS) is operational during the period.

“Since it is a web-based system, agencies shall continue to have access to the System ( for the encoding of the required BP Forms,” the document read.

The deadline submission of budget proposal forms for 2019 actual obligations has been moved as well to April 15 from March 31, previously.

Separately, the DBM and Commission on Audit released Joint Circular (JC) No. 1, s. 2020 saying government employees under contract of service (COS) and job order (JO) scheme should continue to receive their salaries as they are exempted from the “no work, no pay” scheme during the lockdown.

This includes employees working from home and whose work were suspended due to the lockdown.

Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva said in a statement yesterday the move will benefit more than 660,000 COS and JO government workers and help them continue providing for their families.

The circular also said “appropriate additional benefits” could be given to COS and JO workers part of the skeleton workforce of agencies reporting physically to work, upon the approval of the Office of the President.

Of the 2.4 million working in the government, data from the Civil Service Commission showed 660,000 are under COS and JO, with around 360,000 contractual workers in Luzon.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine until April 13 to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 that infected 230 and killed 18 people in the country as of Friday. — B.M. Laforga