Duterte allows DBM chief to approve release of Bayanihan 2 funds
MANILA, Philippines — Government agencies’ budget requests no longer have to pass the Office of the President for approval after President Rodrigo Duterte granted Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado the authority to okay the release of crucial funds under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this Tuesday amid criticisms over the slow release of the P165.5-billion Bayanihan 2 funds, a month after Duterte signed the urgent COVID-19 stimulus plan into law.
“Mas mabuti po ang ginawa ng Presidente. Binigyan niya po ng delegated authority si DBM Sec. Avisado para mag-approve na ng release para hindi na po ‘yan daraan sa Office of the Executive Secretary,” Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.
Due to the order, over P56 billion will be released Tuesday, October 27, to six government agencies. Below is the breakdown of the scheduled fund releases:
- P100 million to the Department of Trade and Industry for shared service facilities of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program
- P5 billion for augmentation of NDRRMF fund
- P8 billion for the Department of Labor and Employment’s CAMP TUPAD program
- P6 billion for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s assistance for individuals in a crisis situation and sustainable livelihood program
- P11.62 billion for the Department of Agriculture’s Plant, Plant, Plant program
- P20.575 billion for the Department of Health for its health-related COVID-19 responses
- P5.1 billion for DOLE’s AKAP
- P500 million for local government support
Some senators earlier called out the Budget Department for the late release of the bulk of the multi-billion peso funds intended to aid pandemic-hit sectors under the Bayanihan 2 law, which is set to expire by the end of the year.
Duterte signed the Bayanihan 2 law on September 11. Of the law’s total budget, P140 billion will be taken from regular appropriations while the remaining P25.5 billion will come from standby funds.
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