DBM Covid-19 fund releases reaches P481 billion

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Credit: Read the original article from Manila Times.

State funds provided to various government agencies for their coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic response programs have so far reached P481.61 billion, data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed on Monday.

Of the amount released as of November 11, the bulk, or P217.41 billion, went to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Other agencies that received more than P1 billion were the Department of Labor and Employment with P25.68 billion; Department of Health, P73.23 billion; Department of Finance, P100.04 billion; Department of Agriculture, P26.66 billion; Department of the Interior and Local Government, P3.31 billion; Department of National Defense, P2.46 billion; Department of Education, P14.91 billion; Department of Trade and Industry, P1.30 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways, P5.56 billion; and Department of Transportation, P9.50 billion.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs got P825 million; Department of Science and Technology, P53.23 million; Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, P50.50 million; University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, P400 million; and Philippine Sports Commission, P180 million.

These releases were in line with the Covid-19 response programs under the Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the “Bayanihan To Heal as One Act” (Bayanihan 1) and RA 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” (Bayanihan 2).

Bayanihan 1 covered assistance to disadvantaged or displaced workers during the pandemic; grants to cities, municipalities and provinces; and purchase of Covid-19 detection kits, among others. The law expired last June 25.

On the other hand, Bayanihan 2 involves interventions that include cash-for-work programs; skills training; social assistance programs; funding for the agriculture, tourism, transportation and education sectors; and more lending programs to help businesses survive. It will expire on December 19.

The government has so far earmarked P2.06 trillion — equivalent to 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product — for its four-pillar strategy against the pandemic.

The amount covers providing emergency and wage subsidies for poor and low-income households, small-business employees and other vulnerable groups; marshaling the country’s medical resources and ensuring the safety of health-care frontliners; fiscal and monetary actions to finance emergency initiatives and keep the economy afloat; and an economic recovery plan to create jobs and sustain growth after the pandemic.

The Finance department has so far raised $9.29 billion in budgetary support financing from the Philippines’ multilateral and bilateral partners, and from global bonds, of which $7.93 billion has been disbursed to the government.

A total of $621.36 million in grant and loan financing has also been delivered to support various projects to be implemented by agencies involved in the Covid-19 response.

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