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Budget release rate at 92% in 1st half

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it released 91.8% of this year’s spending plan as of the end of June.

Citing its Status of Allotment Releases report, the DBM said it released P5.3 trillion out of the government’s P5.768-trillion budget for the year.

Leaving around P472.29 billion undistributed.

The pace of releases was ahead of the 89.9% year-earlier rate.

At the end of June, releases to government agencies and departments stood at P3.42 trillion, equivalent to 97.7% of their allocations.

Special Purpose funds released amounted to P310.67 billion, representing 61.2% of their allotted funds.

Automatic appropriations released at the end of June amounted to P1.39 trillion, for a release rate of 78.9%.

The DBM also released P792.36 million for the Retirement and Life Insurance Premiums of several government offices and P10 billion for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

This year’s spending plan is 9.5% higher than last year’s, and is equivalent to 21.7% of gross domestic product.

In a separate report, the DBM said P11.21 billion in calamity funds were released to various agencies as of the end of June.

This leaves around P11.53 billion out of this year’s P22.74 billion in calamity funds left unreleased.

At the end of June, around P6.52 billion in calamity funds had been released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

This was followed by the departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with P3.76 billion, Human Settlements and Urban Development with P374.97 million, and National Defense with P100 million.

The DSWD and DPWH received P875 million and P1 billion to replenish its respective Quick Response Funds, a stand-by fund to support relief and rehabilitation efforts during calamities.

Some P94.32 million was given to the DPWH to repair infrastructure in the Ilocos, Cordillera, and Mimaropa regions, due to damage caused by typhoons Paeng in 2022 and Egay in 2023.

The DPWH also received P458.3 million to rehabilitate food control structures in Oriental Mindoro.

To reconstruct various slope protection projects in Balungo, Pangasinan, P270.48 million was also distributed to the DPWH, the DBM said. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson