THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said more than P353 billion has been released as of Thursday, May 28, to various government agencies to finance the country’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response.
DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado said that of the amount, P246.5 billion came from pooled savings, P96.7 billion from unprogrammed appropriation, and P10.6 billion from reprogramming of beneficiaries and purpose of existing existing PAPs (program, activities and projects).
Avisado said the funds were released through the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or the Republic Act No. 11469.
This law, which was approved in March, authorizes President Rodrigo Duterte to realign, reallocate and reprogram both the 2019 and the 2020 budgets.
Among the fund releases were the P100 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the social amelioration program, P1.5 billion to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and P30.8 billion to various local government units (LGUs).
“We also provided Bayanihan grants to cities and municipalities for them to be able to also respond to the local needs for Covid-19 at 30.8 billion which is equivalent to an additional one month internal revenue allotments; and for the provinces, P6.1 billion, equivalent to one-half of their total monthly IRA,” he said.
For the Department of Health (DOH), Avisado said the DBM released an initial amount of P1.9 billion for Covid-19 detection kits.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) received P8.5 billion for the ALPAS (Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat ) program.
Avisado said another P96 billion was released to DSWD for the SAP.
He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) were given P93 million, while the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (PNP) were given P150 million.
He said that the DBM also released P51 billion to the Department of Finance (DOF) to fund the small business wage subsidy program.
He said DOH received another P 45.7 billion.
“All totaling P96.7 billion added to the previous releases of 246, so there you have a total of P353.8 billion expenses for Covid-19 of the national government as of today,” he said during the regular virtual press briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (SunStar Philippines)