The government increased its releases of cash allocations, but state agencies were not able to improve their spending rate as of April, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Based on DBM data, notices of cash allocation (NCAs) rose by four percent to P1.3 trillion as of end-April from the P1.25 trillion in the same period last year.

Despite the increase, government agencies recorded a slightly lower utilization rate of 90 percent in the first four months of the year from 92 percent in the four-month period in 2022.

This means that of the total releases, some P128.07 billion was unused as of end-April.

NCAs are disbursement orders by the DBM to government banks servicing the release of funds to agencies. State agencies are expected to use the NCAs to pay for the cash requirements of their programs and projects.

A higher utilization ratio indicates greater capacity of agencies to implement their programs and projects.

Nearly 70 percent of NCA releases were secured by line departments at P907.14 billion. The remaining P396.48 billion was directed to other agencies, especially state-run firms and local governments.

By sector, other agencies managed to use up the entire allocation for them to cover the internal revenue allotment, special shares and other transfers for LGUs.

Line departments, on the other hand, registered a lower utilization rate of 86 percent or P779.9 billion for the NCAs they received as of end-April. In the same period last year, the spending rate was 89 percent.

By departments, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Education (DepEd) still obtained the highest NCAs worth P242.51 billion and P188.89 billion, respectively, during the four-month period.

Data showed that DPWH's utilization rate dipped to 83 percent from 95 percent last year while DepEd retained its spending rate at 93 percent.

As of end-April, only the Commission on Audit had recorded a 100 percent utilization rate.

Other agencies that recorded above 90 percent utilization rate as of April include the Departments of Energy, Health, Interior and Local Government, Justice, National Defense, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry, and the National Economic and Development Authority.

Also included are the Office of the President, Office of the Press Secretary and the Commission on Elections.

Meanwhile, the Department of Migrant Workers still registered the worst utilization rate as of April at only 41 percent of its NCAs totaling P1.9 billion out of the P4.65-billion allocation.

The Department of Transportation came in second with a utilization rate of 63 percent at P17.9 billion out of P28.44 billion, while the Departments of Agriculture, Labor and Employment, and Social Welfare and Development all came in third with a spending rate of 68 percent.

Last year, the DBM released a record P4.42 trillion worth of NCAs as the government expedited programs and projects that could help the country recover from the pandemic.


Copyright © 2022 PhilSTAR Daily, Inc Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (