President Rodrigo Duterte has signed laws extending the validity of appropriations under the 2020 national budget and the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Duterte signed Republic Act 11519 which allows appropriations under Bayanihan 2 available for release, obligation, and disbursement until June 30, 2021.
The 2020 budget expired on Dec. 31, 2020.
He also signed RA 11520 which allows appropriations under Bayanihan 2, including budgetary support to government-owned and controlled corporations, available for release and disbursement until Dec. 31, 2021.
Bayanihan 2, which lapsed on Dec. 19, 2020, provides for a stimulus package of P140 billion in regular appropriation and P25 billion as standby fund to be utilized to cushion the effects of the pandemic and strengthen the efforts in gradually reopening the economy.
It is the second installment of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1), which gave Duterte emergency powers to address the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
The Department of Budget and Management is authorized to formulate rules and regulations for the implementation of RA 11519 and necessary guidelines for the implementation of RA 11520.
A total of P148 billion in the appropriation under the two laws are still unreleased, the DBM said.
Data from DBM showed that P110 billion from the 2020 national budget has yet to be released.
Around P38 billion of the P140 billion funding under the Bayanihan 2 has also yet to be released.
On Dec. 14, Duterte certified both legislations as urgent to address the Covid-19 pandemic. Both laws were signed by Duterte on Dec. 29 but only released to reporters yesterday.*PNA