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Friday, April 19, 2024

P6.5B remained unspent before Bayanihan 2 lapsed—DBM

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ABOUT P6.5 billion in funds remained unspent a few days before the expiration of Bayanihan to Recover as One law or Bayanihan 2, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

Latest data from the budget department showed there was still an unobligated amount of P6.487 billion out of the  total P141.59 billion released allotment for special appropriations under Bayanihan 2 as of June 25.

The figures stated in the Bayanihan 2 status utilization report were highly dependent on the submission of agencies.

The last day of the validity of Bayanihan 2 was on Wednesday, June 30. Despite appeals from various groups, President Duterte did not call Congress to a special session to extend the validity of appropriations under Bayanihan 2.

After the expiration of Bayanihan 2, unobligated funds shall be reverted to the Bureau of the Treasury.

Budget Assistant Secretary and spokesman Rolando Toledo told the BusinessMirror that the latest DBM report for Bayanihan 2 does not yet include the P9.02 billion they released to the Department of Health on June 25 to cover the Covid-19 Special Risk Allowance (SRA) for around 300,000 public and private health workers.

The budget for the Covid-19 SRA was sourced from Bayanihan 2 appropriations.

The SRA is expected to be released to health workers on or before June 30.

Including the P9.02 billion released for Covid-19 SRA, total released allotment for special appropriations under Bayanihan 2 could increase to about P150.6 billion.

Bayanihan 2 was originally supposed to expire on December 19 last year but this was later extended until June 30 this year after lawmakers observed a slow disbursement of funds.

See related story on Bayanihan funds on A16, “Solons ask Executive for full accounting of Bayanihan 1, 2.”

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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