DBM to gov’t agencies: tighten belt, save up
To ensure that the government can cover current and future funding requirements in the fight against COVID-19, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has ordered all agencies to tighten their belts and defer nonessential spending.
Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado issued National Budget Circular (NBC) No. 580 on April 22, which adopted “economy measures” in the public sector amid the emergency health situation caused by the pandemic.
Avisado ordered all departments, agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), as well as state universities and colleges (SUCs), to free up some “appropriations not expressly earmarked for the implementation of programs, activities and projects addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Government agencies were advised that “35 percent of programmed appropriations under the 2020 General Appropriations Act shall no longer be made available for release effective April 1, 2020.”
Among the activities deferred were: motor vehicle purchases, except of ambulances and those required by military and uniformed personnel; construction of new and repairs of existing government buildings; foreign travels, except ministerial meetings and grant-funded scholarships or training at no cost to the government; local travels, except those “urgently necessary and allowed” by agency heads; celebrations, cultural and sports activities; and the hiring of job orders, except medical and health front-liners needed for COVID-19 response.
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