DBM: 88.3% of 2017 budget released as of September
The government released 88.3 percent of the 2017 national budget during the first nine months, slower than a year ago, the latest Department of Budget and Management data showed.
From January to September, P2.959 trillion of the P3.35-trillion budget was released, including continuing appropriations under the 2016 national budget and other automatic appropriations.
To compare, 91.7 percent or P2.752 trillion of the nonetheless smaller P3.002-trillion 2016 budget was released as of end-September last year.
For funds under the 2017 general appropriations act, allotment releases reached P2.009 trillion during the nine-month period or 82.6 percent of the P2.432-trillion program.
Comprehensive releases to government departments as of September amounted P1.771 trillion or 89.9 percent of the programmed P1.969 trillion.
As for special purpose funds, P237.8 billion or 51.3 percent of the P463.2 billion allotted for 2017 have been released.
Automatic appropriations—programmed over a period prescribed by law through outstanding legislation requiring periodic action by Congress—worth P888.8 billion or 96.8 percent of the P918-billion program for this year were released during the first nine months.
These automatic appropriations included retirement and life insurance premium, internal revenue allotment for local government units, pensions of former presidents and their widows, special account in the general fund (including motor vehicle users charge fund), net lending, interest payments, as well as releases under the tax expenditures fund for customs duties and taxes to be paid for government importation.
Also released at end-September were P61.2 billion from continuing appropriations for departments and special purpose funds; unprogrammed appropriations; as well as other automatic appropriations for grants and donations, military camps sales proceeds fund, and revalidation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization program.
A balance of P391.5 billion must still be released before yearend.
The budgets released will be obligated by agencies for specific projects. Upon award of the projects, the allotted amounts will be disbursed for payments to contractors and suppliers. /cbb
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