THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has more than P17 billion of unreleased appropriations from its P482.03 billion budget in 2016, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported on Monday.
At the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditure (JCOCPE) chaired by Senator Loren Legarda, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that of the P482 billion DPWH budget, P384.2 billion is for the agency specific-budget, P84.82 billion transfer from other agencies and P12.82 billion automatic appropriations.
By the end of 2016, the agency only spent P371.99 billion from specific budget, P84.51 billion from the transfers of other agencies, and P7.83 billion from automatic appropriations.
“Bulk of the unreleased appropriations of DPWH’s agency-specific budget involve Routine Maintenance For Newly-Converted National Roads under MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses),” Diokno said.
The Budget secretary also cited unreleased appropriations form Capital outlays stems from the Right-of-way (ROW) payments, payments of contractual obligations, Public-Private partnership (PPP) strategic support fund, and various national and local infrastructure projects, amounting to P12.016 billion.
A total of P4.987 billion from the DPWH automatic appropriations was also unreleased and this is from the Motor Vehicle User Charge (MVUC).
There were items in the DPWH budget that were presented under the For Later Relase (FLR) portion due to non-submission of Special Budget Request (SBR) and details of claimants/nature of claims in the case of ROW and contractual obligations.
As for the quick response fund (QRF) released, Diokno noted that there were some agencies and departments that were provided QRF even if they are not entitled to such fund.
The budget secretary said that this year, the DBM defined the actual departments that should be entitled to the QRF and also integrated all the agency requirements under the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund (NDRRMF).
The move, he said, will ensure faster and automatic augmentation of an agency’s QRF allocation.
Last year, NDRRMF releases totaled P11.8 billion.
For 2017, P3.35 billion has been released — P1.25 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, P500 million to the Department of National Defense, P500 million to the Department of Health, P1 billion to the DPWH and P100 million to the National electrification Administration.
“In total, there is a balance of P750 million in the Quick Response Fund. Meanwhile, the NDRRMF has a remaining balance of P12.405 billion,” Diokno said.