The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released on Thursday at least P100 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to implement the social amelioration program of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
The disbursed funds by the DBM is for distribution to households vulnerable to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions – which is almost equivalent to at least two months’ worth of aid.
In a statement, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado also said that another P175 billion will be released. The amount would come from cash, funds and investments from national government agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations which is in line with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act – the law that gives President Rodrigo Duterte additional powers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, on the other hand, said the P100 billion would cover cash distribution in the first months of the relief program and was made and certified as available by the Bureau of Treasury.
The law allowed the use of up to P275 billion in unused government funds for COVID-19 response.
Dominguez also noted that amid concerns that local government units (LGU) had been slow in disbursing relief, the entire government has to put all their effort to combat this contagion and its ill effects on the nation—the country expects that every citizen will do his duty.