Gov’t fund releases for COVID-19 efforts hit P 476.B
With the money set aside under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act trickling in to agencies implementing COVID-19 response, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released a total of P476.2 billion as of Nov. 9 to fight the pandemic.
The latest DBM data issued on Monday showed that releases under Bayanihan 2 rose to P82.5 billion from P77.9 billion a week ago.
Of the cumulative releases since the onset of the COVID-19 quarantine, P386.1 billion was released under the earlier Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Bayanihan 1, which had allowed realigning budget items into the COVID-19 warchest.
From March to June, P266.8 billion in Bayanihan 1 funds were sourced from discontinued programs, activities and projects under the 2020 national budget and 2019 continuing appropriations; P98.4 billion came from the special purpose fund (including calamity funds, contingent funds and unprogrammed appropriations), and P20.9 billion from regular agency budgets.
When the Bayanihan 1 expired on June 24, the government sustained funding to fight COVID-19 with P7.6 billion released from the special purpose fund (P7.5 billion) and agency budgets (P86.1 million) until mid-September, or before the Bayanihan 2 took effect.
Between March and the first week of November, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was the recipient of the biggest COVID-19-related allotment releases at P217.4 billion. The DSWD had been tasked to give away dole-outs to poor families and displaced workers during the lockdown.
The Department of Finance received P99.6 billion; Department of Health, P73.2 billion; Department of Agriculture, P26.7 billion; Department of Labor and Employment, P25.7 billion; Department of Education, P10.9 billion; Department of Transportation, P9.5 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways, P4.7 billion; Department of the Interior and Local Government, P3.3 billion; Department of National Defense, P2.5 billion, and Department of Trade and Industry, P1.3 billion.
The Department of Foreign Affairs got P825.1 million; University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), P400 million; Philippine Sports Commission, P180 million; Department of Science and Technology, P53.2 million; and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, P50.5 million. —Ben O. de Vera INQ
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