DBM: Govt not withholding funds

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reaffirmed on Friday that no government funds are being withheld, even those marked “for later release.”

 

The DBM said in a statement that it will not withhold P160 billion in For-Later-Release (FLR) money for infrastructure and social amelioration programs, as certain Senate members have lately suggested.

 

It added that the P144.81 billion FLR allocations anticipated for the Department of Public Works and Highways’ infrastructure programs had already been recommended to the President for approval.

 

This accounted for the majority of the P261.05 billion in unreleased funds in the P4.50-trillion national budget for 2021 as of last June 30.

 

The DBM also said that it had already released P3.83 trillion, or 85.1 percent of this year’s national budget, from January to June.

 

Line department releases totaled P2.38 trillion, or 90.1 percent of the total, a major gain over the previous year’s 79.8 percent.

 

The Budget department added that most departments’ allotments had been fully dispersed, including the P176.66 billion FLR funding for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s several social amelioration programs.

 

“Expenditure items classified as FLRs require the submission of special budget request and other supporting documentary requirements from the agencies concerned, consistent with National Budget Circular No. 583,” it explained.

 

Before recommending the documents to the Office of the President for approval, the agency said that it reviewed them based on current budgeting laws and regulations.

 

The accompanying Special Allotment Release Order and Notice of Cash Allocation will be released as soon as the President gives his permission.

 

The DBM said, it “remains committed to ensuring that funds are readily available to support the implementation of various Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) response programs geared towards making all sectors of the economy stronger and more agile.”

 

BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA

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