THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Monday claimed that over 80 percent of the P2.6-trillion national budget this year has been released, contradicting recent allegations that the government is holding back on the allotments well into the second half of the year.
The Status of Allotment Releases data of the DBM showed that 88.7 percent or about P2.3 trillion of the national budget was released as of end-July.
Around P1.4 trillion of the total releases were allotted to cover the General Appropriations and P819 billion to the Automatic Appropriations.
Under the General Appropriations, government departments got P1.2 trillion and while the Special Purpose Funds received P219 billion.
“The figures clearly show that most of the 2015 National Budget has already been released to the appropriate agencies in the first half of the year. This alone disproves allegations that we’re holding back releases as part of an absurd, grandiose strategy for the 2016 polls,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement.
Abad called on the government agencies to make the most of the funds released to them.
To help the agencies in the execution and implementation of the projects and programs, the DBM has already introduced several measures aimed at strengthening and improving the procurement processes and project implementation, including Administrative Order 46 in March and National Budget Circular 2015-558 in June.
“You see, faster agency spending isn’t just a matter of supporting economic growth, it’s also a matter of ensuring the timely delivery of goods and services to the public,” Abad noted.
“We’re following through with our commitment to release agency allotments at the soonest possible time. The General Appropriations Act-as-Release-Document regime, in place since last year, has largely allowed the agency to focus on project execution,” he added.