DBM releases nearly half of 2011 national budget

Published by rudy Date posted on April 12, 2011

THE Aquino administration has released nearly half of its entire budget for the year during the first quarter to shore up economic activity.

Of the P1.645-trillion national budget for this year, P800 billion had been frontloaded, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said the frontloading during the first quarter will accelerate project implementation, as well as enable key departments and agencies to take advantage of the sunny weather for infrastructure projects.

“President Aquino had instructed us to frontload releases and accelerate project implementation so we can get the economy perked up early in the year,” Abad said.

He said P618 billion under the budgets of departments and agencies had been earmarked, or 81 percent of the amount programmed for the
year.

Such amount includes 91 percent of the programmed personal services budget to cover the salaries, allowances and other personnel benefits, including pensions.

The released fund likewise includes 82 percent of departments’ programmed maintenance and other operating expenditures, as well as 55 percent of capital outlay to cover regular operating requirements, including the implementation of ongoing priority programs and projects.

Abad said the DBM had issued budget execution guidelines that effectively release 100 percent of allocations under agency budget matrices (ABMs) and that accelerate bidding and procurement processes.

He said total releases from Special Purpose Funds (SPF) in the first quarter reached P12 billion, bulk of which went to the payment of terminal leave and retirement benefits of state employees amounting to P4.5 billion, payment of subsidies to government corporations at P2.6 billion, and the International Commitment Fund at P2.9 billion.

He said the balance of SPF amounts to P157 billion, of which P70.6 billion is lodged under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund, from where the requirements for the second and third tranches of salary increase authorized under the Salary Standardization Law will be sourced.

Also under the SPF balance is the P30-billion Retirement Benefits Fund, from where the payment for the terminal leave and retirement gratuity of retiring government employees will be sourced.

SPF also covers the P24.6-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund and the P4.8-billion Calamity Fund.

Another P157.499 billion went to automatic appropriations, mostly for Internal Revenue Allotment at P71.7 billion, interest payment and net lending at P59 billion, and retirement and life insurance premiums at P21 billion. Already, 22 percent of automatic appropriations had been released. –Katrina Mennen A. Valdez, Reporter, Manila Times

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