Abad: Gov't shores up spending with unprecedented early-year releases
MANILA, 17 January (DBM) -- In a report to President Benigno S. Aquino III, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad confirmed that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already released a whopping 90.5 percent of the P868.9-billion budget for government departments.
The department releases, amounting to P786.6 billion as of 15 January 2012, also comprise 72 percent of the P1.092-trillion national budget under the 2012 General Appropriations Act (GAA), signifying an early start in the budget execution process of the government.
"We were able to deliver an unprecedented level of releases due to the early passage of the 2012 national budget, as well as the limited number of permitted lump-sum funds and the disaggregation of other lump sums. The department-focused releases were made under the Agency Budget Matrix, and the funds themselves correspond to important items in the 2012 GAA for various government programs, activities, and projects," Abad said.
Of the total 2012 budget, 47.3 percent or P858.8 billion was released by the DBM in the first two weeks of January 2012 alone. Abad noted that the high figures are testament to the Aquino administration's commitment to the timely implementation of programs and projects, while ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.
"The early, substantial releases will also allow the Administration to jump-start most of its programmed infrastructure projects and complete them well before the rainy season and its typhoons set in," he said.
As of 12 January 2012, the DBM has also released 99.6 percent or P424.4 billion of the P426.1 billion programmed for personal services, while 90.4 percent of the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) were already released as of January 4, 2012.
"In addition, we have successfully released 72.1 percent or P150.2 billion of the P208.3-billion allocation for capital outlays (COs). This in sharp contrast to our experience in FY 2011, during which the bulk of CO releases were made only in the second half of the year," Abad said.
Part of the total CO releases this January is the P142-billion budget for various infrastructure projects under different agencies. Departments that received the largest CO releases include the Department of Public Works and Highways with P91.06 billion, the Department of Agriculture with P24.97 billion, and the Department of Education with P11.06 billion.
|Table 1: 2012 National Budget|
In million pesos
|Particulars||Program||Allotment Releases (as of January 4, 2012)||% of Releases over Program|
|New General Appropriations||P1,092,371||P789,258||72.3 percent|
|- Personal Services||426,162||424,442||99.6|
|- Capital Outlays||208,342||150,286||72.1|
|- Special Purpose Funds||223,452||2,671||1.2|
|Automatic Appropriations||P723,629||P69,528||9.6 percent|
For the P723.629-billion automatic appropriations, the DBM has released a total of P69.52 billion as of 15 January 2012. Items covered by automatic appropriations include Internal Revenue Allotments, Interest Payments, and Retirement and Life Insurance Premiums.
Under the 2012 National Budget, big-ticket projects that are part of the P82.32 billion and which require clearance include the P20.33 billion for the Department of Health, P12.43 billion for the Department of Public Works and Highways, and P12.16 billion Department of Telecommunications and Communications.
The 2012 Results-Focused Budget embodies the Aquino administration's commitment to alleviate poverty through honest and effective governance. It focuses intently on fulfilling the administration's Social Contract with the Filipino People, paying particular attention to anti-corruption and good governance, poverty reduction and the empowerment of the poor, inclusive economic growth, just and lasting peace and the rule of law, and integrity of the environment.
"Once again, we applied the zero-based budgeting (ZBB) approach to eliminate redundant and inefficient spending. This allows us to focus our resources on priorities, so that each and every peso we spend will count in empowering the poor. This proposed budget sustains our new tradition of transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in public expenditure," Abad said.
The 2012 National Budget likewise reflects the priorities of the Aquino administration with the Social Services sector getting the largest slice of the budget pie with P568.6 billion or 31.3 percent of the total budget. This is followed by the Economic Services sector with P438.8 billion (24.2 percent), which showed the largest growth of 21.3 percent. Debt service comes next with P356.1 billion (19.6 percent); General Public Services, P338.1 billion (18.6 percent); and Defense, P114.4 billion (6.3 percent). As a share of the budget, the debt burden is 3 percentage points lower than this year.
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