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DBM: Virus funds remain sufficient

Joshua Lao



The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) assured the public that funds needed for the state’s COVID-19 response programs and projects remain sufficient amid the extended validity of the 2020 national budget.

“Aside from the (Departments and Agencies) regular appropriations under the FY (fiscal year) 2021 GAA (general appropriations act) and the continuing FY 2020 GAA, the total amount of P189.442 billion in allotments pursuant to the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act may still be utilized until 30 June 2021,” the DBM reported.

“This is also on top of the P60.60 billion additional allotments released to the Department of Health for foreign-assisted projects, particularly on the procurement of vaccines and other essential equipment and supplies,” it added.

Still, the agency said that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) can still be tapped whenever there are additional requirements for the pandemic that can’t be covered by any available funding resources.

According to the DBM, the NDRRMF has a total of P19.44 billion as of end-April this year after some P2.90 billion in allotments were released in addition to the processing of P2.77 billion to cover disaster-related programs and projects in response to calamities from 2018 to 2021.

“The remaining P19.44 billion appropriations will be utilized based on the specific purposes and allotments which will be released by the DBM to appropriate Departments and Agencies upon receipt of the corresponding approvals from the OP (Office of the President),” it explained.