DBM: 90.1% of 2017 budget released as of October
The government released 90.1 percent of the 2017 national budget during the first 10 months, although slower than a year ago, the latest Department of Budget and Management (DBM) data showed.
From January to October, P3.019 trillion of the P3.35 trillion-budget was released, including continuing appropriations under the 2016 national budget and other automatic appropriations.
To compare, 93.1 percent or P2.795 trillion of the nonetheless smaller P3.002-trillion 2016 budget was released as of end-October in 2016.
For funds under the 2017 general appropriations act (GAA), allotment releases reached P2.063 trillion during the 10-month period or 84.8 percent of the P2.432-trillion program.
Comprehensive releases to government departments as of October amounted P1.799 trillion or 91.4 percent of the programmed P1.969 trillion.
As for special purpose funds, P263.4 billion or 56.9 percent of the P462.6 billion allotted for 2017 have been released.
Automatic appropriations, which pertains to budget items programmed over a period prescribed by law through outstanding legislation requiring periodic action by Congress, worth P889.7 billion or 96.9 percent of the P918-billion program for 2017 were released during the first 10 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-October were P65.8 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 (AFP) modernization program.
A balance of P331.2 billion must still be released before the end of 2017.
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. /kga
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