Covid-19 releases hits P374B – DBM

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Releases by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response has reached P374.88 billion to date.

Data showed on Tuesday that of the total, the bulk or P200.97 billion was released to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for its Social Amelioration Programs and other expenses.

Other agencies with the biggest allotments were: the Department of Finance with P88.52 billion, Department of Health with P48.23 billion, Department of Labor and Employment with P12.58 billion, Department of Agriculture with P11.09 billion, Department of Education with P10.91 billion, and the Department of National Defense with P1.16 billion.

The Budget department data also revealed that P747.92 million was released to the Department of Interior and Local Government, P400 million to state universities and colleges, P203 million to the Department of Trade and Industry, P53.23 million to the Department of Science and technology, P5.09 million to Department of Foreign Affairs, and P500,000 to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

The Covid-19 response programs under these agencies cover disadvantaged/displaced workers during the pandemic; grants to cities and municipalities as well as provinces; purchase of virus detection kits; among others.

The national government has so far earmarked P1.74 trillion, equivalent to 9.1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, for its four-pillar strategy against the Covid-19 pandemic, which covers the following: providing poor and low-income households, small-business employees and other vulnerable groups emergency and wage subsidies; marshaling the country’s medical resources and ensuring the safety of healthcare 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 in the post-quarantine scenario.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said earlier the national government has, so far, borrowed an equivalent of P1.55 trillion from foreign and domestic sources to support the national budget amid its Covid-19 response.

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