THE GOVERNANCE Commission for Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations’ (GCG) low fund utilization in 2020 and this year must be solved by yearend, a senator said Monday during the agency’s budget hearing.   

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian cited that GCG has unspent funds of P73 million or 36% of its allocation in 2020, while 46% or P96 million remain in the 2021 budget.  

He noted that the validity of the 2020 budget was extended. “So in other words, you can spend the unspent amount up to the end of this year.”  

“I want to make sure that while debating your budget on the floor, these amounts will be spent towards the end, and that you’ve already made the necessary actions” to do so, he said. The committee asked for a breakdown and timetable of the agency’s spending arrangements.  

GCG Director Jaypee O. Abesamis said that for the 2020 budget, about P31 million was returned to the National Treasury for unimplemented projects such as the procurement of motor vehicles, network and security upgrade, and data privacy consultancy, among others.  

Another P19 million, he added, was returned because the designated activities were already provided funds in the 2021 General Appropriations Act.  

He said there were already ongoing procurements for the P23-million balance remaining.  

As for the 2021 budget, Mr. Abesamis assured that the budget spending would increase towards the end of the year because programs for procurement such as motor vehicles and consultancy services for information and communication technology management systems already have purchase requests. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan