Palace defends ‘for later release’ tag on funding of some infrastructure projects

Malacañang on Thursday defended the decision of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to postpone the release of fund augmentation under the 2020 national budget, which were proposed, or approved, by lawmakers.

In an online news briefing, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the move of DBM to tag funds as “for later release” (FLR) aims to allow the government to allocate more budget for its initiative related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among those affected by the FLR tagging by DBM, Roque said, are infrastructure projects.

He made the remark in response to the statement of Sen.Panfilo Lacson on the “pattern” of DBM in targeting congressional initiative funds to include in its list of FLR funds.

FLR funds, he noted, never gets released.

Lacson said this policy of DBM “diminishes” the power of the purse of Congress.

Roque allayed the concern of Lacson by assuring that the FLR funds will eventually be released by DBM.

The government allocated over P200 billion earlier this year under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1) to respond to the effects of the novel coronavirus disease pandemic.

Last week, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado reported the Bayanihan 1 funds are already fully utilized by concerned government offices.

The government has allotted another P165 billion for the Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2) to serve as the second tranche of its measures for the pandemic.


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