P646 billion released for pandemic response

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported on Tuesday that public funds released to government agencies for various coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic response has reached P646.97 billion.

 

Of the figure released as of April 15, the amount of P387.17 billion was released pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1).

 

“Implementing agencies reported that they have already obligated P358.24 billion and disbursed P339.65 billion, thus corresponding to a 92.53 percent obligation rate and 94.81 percent disbursement rate, respectively,” the Budget department said.

 

Meanwhile, releases under RA 11465 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) reached P259.80 billion.

 

“Of this, P132.65 billion has been obligated with only P93.31 billion disbursed based on agency reports submitted to the DBM. This translates to a 51.06-percent obligation rate and 70.34 percent disbursement rate,” the DBM added.

 

Besides the releases made to support the Bayanihan laws, the budget department further said it also released P6.46 billion for various Covid-19 project and projects upon the expiration of Bayanihan 1, with P4.17 billion already obligated and P3.22 billion disbursed.

 

Said releases were charged against regular funds under the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

 

The DBM also reminded government agencies that funds released under the 2020 GAA can be used until December 31, 2021.

 

Meanwhile, thanks to RA 11519, which extended the availability of appropriations approved under the Bayanihan 2 statute, fund releases charged against Section 10 of RA 11465 are still valid for obligation and disbursement until June 30, 2021.

 

“Upon the expiration of the Bayanihan laws, all unreleased appropriations shall lapse while undisbursed funds shall revert to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund,” the Budget department said.

 

BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA

 

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