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The Department of Budget and Management said Friday no funds are being withheld, including over P158 billion For-Later-Release appropriations for infrastructure and social amelioration programs that were identified by some members of the Senate, according to a report by Manila Standard.
“It is noted that of the P158.36-billion FLR appropriations intended for the infrastructure programs of the Department of Public Works and Highways, P144.81 billion have already been recommended by the DBM to the president for approval,” the agency said in a statement.
“This amount comprises the bulk of the P261.05 billion unreleased appropriations under the P4.506-trillion FY 2021 national budget as of June 30, 2021,” it said.
The DBM made the statement amid allegations of withholding funding due to politicking.
It said P3.83 trillion or 85.1 percent of the FY 2021 national budget was released from January to June 2021. Of the amount, releases to line departments reached P2.38 trillion, or equivalent to 90.1 percent, an improvement from 79.8 percent in the same period last year.
“The DBM has fully released the respective allotments of most departments, including the P176.66 billion FLR appropriations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the implementation of its various social amelioration programs,” it said.
Expenditure items classified as FLRs require the submission of special budget request and other supporting documentary requirements from the agencies concerned, consistent with National Budget Circular No. 583.
These documents will be evaluated by the DBM based on budgeting rules and regulations and subsequently endorsed to the Office of the President for approval. The corresponding Special Allotment Release Order and Notice of Cash Allocation will be issued immediately upon approval of the President.
“The DBM remains committed to ensuring that funds are readily available to support the implementation of various COVID-19 response programs geared towards making all sectors of the economy stronger and more agile,” it said.