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P5.3B of P165.5-B Bayanihan 2 funds released

/ 04:46 AM October 17, 2020

A month after the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act was signed into law, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P5.3 billion in fresh funds to fight the health and socioeconomic crises inflicted by COVID-19.

On top of the P2.5 billion released to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to hire and train new contact tracers as well as P855 million to the Department of National Defense’s Office of Civil Defense for various COVID-19 facilities nationwide, the DBM also recently issued a special allotment release order (Saro) worth P820 million to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Budget Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo said in a text message on Friday.

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The release to the DFA will augment the assistance-to-nationals fund so that the agency can help Filipinos working or living overseas who were badly hit by the pandemic.

As of last week, the DBM also released the following allotments under the Bayanihan 2 Act: P994.8 million to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to replenish its 2020 quick response fund; P110.9 million to the Department of Finance-attached Bureau of the Treasury, and P28.4 million to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) to support the role and engagement of the OPAPP secretary as chief implementer against COVID-19, Toledo said.

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The release to the Treasury will cover various local government units’ COVID-19 response-related program and projects, DBM documents showed.

The funding set aside for Bayanihan 2 amounted to P165.5 billion—P140 billion in regular appropriations on top of P25.5 billion in contingency funds.

Other agencies that will implement Bayanihan 2’s provisions were also awaiting their respective funds.

“The DBM will release the necessary funding requirements under Bayanihan 2 upon receipt of the request together with the usual supporting documents from the respective implementing agencies and certification from the Treasury of the availability of funds. These request will be evaluated by the DBM consistent with existing budgeting laws, rules and regulations,” Toledo said. —Ben O. de Vera

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TAGS: Bayanihan 2, DBM
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