DBM says it released P690 billion for pandemic response

philippine star/Michael Varcas

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it has released P690.26 billion in funds supporting the government’s coronavirus response programs.

As of Sept. 30, or the end of the third quarter, the government has disbursed P570 billion or 89.4% of the total, DBM said in a press release on Monday.

Meanwhile, P637.97 billion or 92.4% of the total has been obligated for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response programs.

Additional releases during the third quarter came from the 2021 General Appropriations Act after funds under the Bayanihan I and Bayanihan II laws expired.

“These include the payment for the COVID-19 special risk allowance of public and private health workers, purchase of COVID-19 vaccine ancillaries, procurement of RT-PCR testing kits and renewal of contracts for hiring of healthcare professionals, among others,” DBM said.

According to DBM, government agencies obligated P204.07 billion or 95.3% out of the P214.12 billion allotment released under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan II.

“This leaves a balance of P10.05 billion, of which only P4.56 billion can still be utilized by implementing agencies until Dec. 31, 2021,” DBM said.

“The rest was reverted to the General Fund, following the expiration of the Special Appropriations and FY 2019 Continuing Appropriations last June 30, 2021.”

Another P369.08 billion has been obligated under the P387.93 billion released under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Bayanihan I. A total of P10 billion charged against the 2020 General Appropriations Act can still be disbursed until the end of 2021.

Other releases outside the Bayanihan laws have reached P88.21 billion, the bulk of which was charged against the 2021 General Appropriations Act.

Government agencies have until Dec. 31, 2021 to obligate P23.38 billion and disburse P42.84 billion in funds.

“The DBM commits to continuously support all implementing agencies as they respond to the pandemic to ensure that all Filipinos are given the assistance and services they need, especially during these challenging times,” the agency said. — Jenina P. Ibanez