The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already released more than half of the 2013 national budget, in line with President Aquino’s goal of accelerating spending to facilitate quicker project implementation and service delivery.
In a statement, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said yesterday that the government’s total allotment at end-January reached P1.26 trillion, representing 62.8 percent of the P2.006-trillion 2013 budget.
The end-January allotment figure was also higher by 39.6 percent compared with the same period last year.
Abad also revealed that 91.9 percent or P898.3 billion of the P977.7 billion for departments’ specific budgets have already been released as of January 2013.
With an improvement in fund releases, Abad said that the government’s departments and agencies now have sufficient budgetary support for the immediate implementation of their programs and projects.
“With 92 percent of their budgets already released to them, departments can commence their procurement activities in the first quarter and, consequently, speed up project execution ahead of the election ban,” Abad said.
“Furthermore, swift budget releases will allow departments and agencies to comply with the one-year validity policy for all appropriations. We began enforcing this measure in 2013 to encourage agencies to jump-start their priority programs and projects and, consequently, ensure the faster provision of goods and services to the public,” he added.
The budget chief also noted that among all allotment classes, end-January releases for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures (MOOE) soared by 86.8 percent year-on-year, due largely to the release of the full-year requirement for the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to local government units (LGUs), amounting to P302.3 billion.
“Previously, LGUs received their IRA shares on a quarterly basis. Because their shares were released comprehensively this year, our local governments can now obligate their budgets well in advance and create more legroom for efficient service delivery to their respective constituents,” Abad said.
According to DBM, P330.8 billion under Automatic Appropriations have already been released as of January 31, comprising 43.8 percent of the P755.2 billion programmed for this year. Releases under Special Purpose Funds (SPFs) amounted to P24.6 billion within the same period, P17.5 billion of which was released to cover pension and terminal leave benefits of retiring government employees.
Additionally, P5.5 billion of the P35.8 billion in 2012 carry-over appropriations have already been released as of end-January. This includes P3.26 billion released for specific departments and SPFs, as well as P2.24 billion rolled out for the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which was charged against 2012 pooled savings.