• By The Financial District


The national government has released PHP76.2 billion for 15 agencies from the Bayanihan to Recover as One or Bayanihan 2 law to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to President Rodrigo Duterte’s second monthly report on the implementation of the Bayanihan 2 law, the figure is 54.45 percent of the PHP140 billion appropriations under Bayanihan 2.

The Department of Health received the biggest chunk of the budget at PHP20.57 billion for funding programs meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Getting the second highest allotment was the Department of Labor and Employment with PHP13.1 billion for programs to help workers displaced by the pandemic, followed by the Department of Agriculture with PHP12.03 billion for its agriculture stimulus package.

Around PHP9.5 billion went to the Department of Transportation for interventions for the transport industry while the Department of Finance got PHP8.08 billion for the implementation of the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises program and other lending and subsidy programs.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development received PHP6 billion for its COVID-19 response and recovery interventions, while the Department of the Interior and Local Government acquired PHP2.52 billion for the hiring and training of contact workers.

Some PHP2 billion pesos has been downloaded to the Department of Finance as subsidy for the payment of interest on new and existing loans secured by local government units from the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines.

DOF also acquired another PHP451 million to support the priority programs of local government units.

The Department of National Defense Office of Civil Defense received PHP855.1 million for the operating requirements of COVID-19 facilities, while PHP820 million went to the Department of Foreign Affairs to augment its assistance to Filipinos overseas.

Around PHP180 million was given to the Philippine Sports Commission for the allowances of athletes and coaches while the Department of Trade and Industry secured PHP100 million for the Balik Probinsya program through the shared service facilities project.

The DOLE-Professional Regulation Commission received PHP2.5 million to implement the computer-based licensure examination.

The report said additional releases will be made as soon as the corresponding budget requests, together with the necessary supporting documents, are submitted, consistent with existing budgeting laws, rules, and regulations.

Duterte earlier gave the Department of Budget and Management the authority to approve fund releases from the Bayanihan 2 law.

On top of the PHP140-billion appropriations under Bayanihan 2, the government also released an additional PHP1.7 billion for agencies from the 2020 national budget.