DBM released P500.9B under reenacted budget in Q1
To sustain state spending despite a reenacted budget, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P500.9 billion in funds during the first quarter.
The latest DBM data showed that releases from January to March included P292.8 billion under the first-quarter obligational authority and P208.1 billion in special allotment release orders (Saro).
The following items could not be covered by obligational authority, hence were issued Saro based on agencies’ special budget request: centrally managed items chargeable against the reenacted 2018 national budget; charges against pension and gratuity fund, and charges against other special purpose funds such as budgetary support to government corporations, miscellaneous personnel benefits fund and contingent fund, among others.
From the reenacted 2018 national budget under Republic Act (RA) No. 10964, P324.4 billion were released as of end-March—P292.4 billion for departments and P31.9 billion in special purpose funds.
Automatic appropriations amounted to P161.9 billion, covering retirement and life insurance premium (P11.6 billion), local government units’ internal revenue allotment (P143.9 billion), special account in the general fund that included the motor vehicle users charge fund (P2.5 billion) and tax expenditures fund for customs duties and taxes (P3.9 billion).
The DBM also had P14.5 billion in other releases that were issued Saro during the first three months, including P4.2 billion in continuing appropriations under the P3.767-trillion obligation-based 2018 budget, of which P1.2 billion were for departments and P3.1 billion were special purpose funds.
Also released by the DBM were P9.9 billion in unprogrammed appropriations and P430.1 million in grants/donations considered as other automatic appropriations.
According to earlier reports, President Duterte was set to sign the P3.757-trillion 2019 national budget on Monday (April 15), almost four months behind schedule following an impasse between the two houses of Congress over allegations of insertions allegedly made by the Lower House.
However, the President last Thursday threatened to veto the proposed 2019 general appropriations act.
“Hindi magkasundo ang Congress pati ang Senado, pati ‘yung mga insertions diyan titignan ko. Pagka-tagilid talaga, I will not hesitate to veto the entire budget,” Duterte said in a speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) sortie in Bacolod City.
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