Almost 83 percent of the national budget for 2021 has already been released to government agencies, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
DBM data released on Wednesday showed that the allotment release of P3.737 trillion from January to May accounted for 82.9 percent of the government's P4.50-trillion programmed budget.
The latest figure surpassed the P3.736 trillion released in the first five months of 2020.
Line departments received P2.34 trillion of the total, which includes funds provided to agencies and other constitutional offices.
Special purpose funds (SPFs), which are budgetary allocations in the General Appropriations Act for specific socioeconomic reasons, were released for a total of P198.29 billion.
These are usually lump sum in nature, as the recipient agencies and/or specific programs and projects were not identified during the budget preparation and legislation. SPFs are used for financial assistance for government corporations, distribution to local government units, contingencies, miscellaneous personnel benefits, and national catastrophe risk mitigation and management, as well as pension and gratuity payments.
Allotment releases for automatic appropriations or appropriations programmed annually reached P1 trillion. These include P56.73 billion for retirement and life insurance premiums; P695.49 billion for internal revenue allotment; P71.66 billion for block grant; P480,000 for pension of ex-presidents and widows of former presidents; P31.06 billion for special account for the general fund; P7.17 billion for net lending; P132.88 billion for interest payments; and P12.94 billion for tax expenditures fund/customs duties ad taxes.
Other releases totaled P184.92 billion, with continuing appropriations for 2020, unprogrammed allocations, and other automatic allocations among them.
The national government has stated that the P4.50-trillion national budget will aid the country in fighting and recovering from the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
The funds for 2021 are intended to aid the country in addressing the pandemic, rebounding by enhancing infrastructure development and creating job opportunities, and rebuilding by aiding communities in adjusting to life after the pandemic.
Despite 13 specific sections of Republic Act 11518 or the "General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2021," being vetoed, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado had assured the public that most government projects will proceed as scheduled.
He said that the DBM is working with various government departments to ensure that their budget allotments are released on schedule and in a timely manner. He also stated that the budget agency is ready to act fast on budget requests from agencies that submit their budget documents on time.
Avisado went on to say that the budget agency will ensure efficient use of public funds, conformity to laws, rules, and regulations, and shared fiscal responsibility in the budget's implementation.