Sun. Mar 7th, 2021
(Photo courtesy: Presidential Communications)

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.

This means that unutilized funds under Bayanihan 2 and the 2020 budget can be disbursed until June 30, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021, respectively.

Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11519 which allows appropriations under Bayanihan 2 be available for release, obligation, and disbursement until June 30, 2021. Bayanihan 2 lapsed on Dec. 19, 2020.

He also signed RA 11520 that allows unused funds under the approved 2020 national budget to be available for release and disbursement until Dec. 31, 2021.

Bayanihan 2, which lapsed last 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.

The DBM is authorized to formulate rules and regulations for the implementation of RA 11519 and RA 11520.

A total of P148 billion in the appropriation under the two laws are still unreleased, according to the DBM.

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.

Last Dec. 14, Duterte certified both legislations as urgent to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both laws were signed by Duterte on Dec. 29, 2020 but only released to reporters on Wednesday. SOVEREIGNPH

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