By Chino S. Leyco
Releases of budget allotments accelerated last month after the implementation of this year’s general appropriations act (GAA), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
In a statement, the DBM said that allotment releases amounted to P2.607 trillion from May 2 to 31, equivalent to 79.6 percent of the P3.276 net program national budget for the year.
Allotment releases refer to the authorization issued by the DBM that enables line agencies to obligate their budgets for programs and projects.
It can be recalled that the national government operated under a 2018 reenacted budget in the first four months of the year. The 2019 GAA was signed into law only last April 15.
Allotment releases from the 2018 GAA as reenacted amounted only to P386.1 billion from January to April this year. Combining the 2019 net program of P3.276 trillion and the initial releases from the 2018 reenacted budget yields the full-year program of P3.662 trillion.
Releases to departments reached P1.515 trillion, which is 83.7 percent of its net program. This is largely due to the GAA-as-Allotment-Order (GAAO) policy of the DBM where majority of funds are comprehensively released to agencies as soon as the budget is passed into law.
Releases from Special Purpose Funds (SPFs) amounted to P21.1 billion or 5.4 percent of its net program. Most allotments from SPFs are “for later release” since certain conditions have to be met and specific requirements have to be submitted by requesting agencies as outlined in the legal provisions of the 2019 GAA.
On the other hand, allotment releases from automatic appropriations amounted to P1.052 trillion, or 98.2 percent of its net program, at end-May 2019. Automatic appropriations are fixed by law for specific purposes, such as debt service, net lending, and the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for local government units (LGUs).