DBM to release P140B as soon as Duterte signs Bayanihan 2
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is ready to release at least P140 billion as soon as President Rodrigo Duterte signs into law the Bayanihan to Recover As One, or Bayanihan 2, bill into law, Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado said on Tuesday (Sept. 1).
The DBM had already released P389.1 billion for COVID-19 response as of end-August. Dole outs for poor households took a big chunk off the funding.
Of the budget releases intended for COVID-19 response as of Aug. 28, P211.6 billion went to the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) social amelioration program (SAP).
Avisado said the first tranche of SAP fund releases reached 17,686,842 beneficiaries while the second tranche went to 13,364,915 people.
The Department of Health (DOH) received P48.9 billion for hazard payment and risk allowances of health workers, purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and purchase of coronavirus testing kits, Avisado said.
The other agencies that received money for their COVID-19 response-related programs and projects included:
Department of Finance, P51 billion)
Department of Agriculture, P11.4 billion
Department of Labor and Employment, P7.4 billion
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, P5.2 billion
The bulk or P266.5 billion from the end-August releases were from discontinued programs, activities and projects under both the 2020 national budget and 2019’s continuing appropriations.
Some items had been realigned to COVID-19 response as allowed by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which took effect from March to June.
Through the Bayanihan law, COVID-19 response had inflicted a net reduction of P34.5 billion across agency budgets.
Another P102.1 billion came from special purpose funds, while the remaining P20.5 billion were from regular agency budgets.
Avisado said for the Bayanihan 2, the proposed budget allocation under regular funds amounted to P140 billion on top of a P25.5 billion standby fund, which brings total allocation for the law’s implementation to P165.5 billion.
The biggest allocation will be for planned capital infusion into government financial institutions (GFIs), like the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) to save distressed businesses.
The total budget for health response under Bayanihan 2 was P31 billion, while the agriculture sector will get P24 billion.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.