Philippines: 96.5% of 2022 budget released as of end-August

MANILA, Philippines — The government has already released 96.5 percent of the record P5.02-trillion 2022 national budget as of August, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

In its latest report, the DBM said the government has released P4.85 trillion or 96.5 percent of this year’s budget as of end-August.

This is an improvement from the 93.5 percent budget release during the first month in office of the Marcos administration in July.

During the same period in 2021, the government had issued only 92.1 percent or P4.15 trillion of the P4.51-trillion budget for the year.

Data showed the DBM released P3.11 trillion under the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA). This is 93.2 percent of the total P3.34-trillion financing.

Automatic appropriations increased to P1.47 trillion or 87.5 percent of the P1.68-trillion aggregate funding.

Under the 2022 GAA, the DBM said it has distributed 97.2 percent or P2.8 trillion of the P2.88 trillion for departments.

In terms of special purpose funds, 68.1 percent or P311.18 billion has been handed out from the P457 billion.

For automatic appropriations, the government already recorded 100 percent utilization for national tax allotment (P959.04 billion), block grants (P66.96 billion), special account in the general fund (P41.07 billion) and tax expenditures fund (P14.5 billion).

This is inclusive of the release of the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund under the Rice Tariffication Law.

Releases for net lending also improved to 67.7 percent or P19.42 billion from just 25 percent the previous month. Allotment for interest payments also increased to 60.3 percent or P309.31 billion.

The DBM said the government has spent an extra P1.91 billion on top of the P60.02 billion for retirement and life insurance premiums to cover for new hires.

Further, issuance for the pension of former presidents or their widows remained at 90 percent or P432,000 of the total P480,000.

Meanwhile, the government used up P258.68 billion for other releases, the bulk of which went to unprogrammed appropriations worth P171.25 billion.

For next year, the budget submitted to Congress for approval is 4.9 percent higher at P5.268 trillion.