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Bangko Sentral releases P300 B cash assistance

LEGAZPI CITY --- Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman on Tuesday, Apr. 7 said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has downloaded to the National Treasury P 300 billion to bankroll government spending in terms of social amelioration packages to vulnerable families, temporary wage benefits to displaced workers, financial aid to the informal sector and other forms of assistance to affected persons during the implementation of the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Lagman said national treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon has confirmed in a telephone conversation on Monday that the amount has been remitted to the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) to “provide an extra lifeline to the national government to support the programs to fight this pandemic.”

The BSP purchased government securities from the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) under a repurchase agreement in the amount of P300 billion with a maximum repayment period of six months.

When President Rodrigo Duterte, in one of his telecasts said that “may pera ako” to address the pandemic, he must have been referring to the P300-billion from BSP, among other funding sources.

Since the expected revenues from the collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) have not been realized due to the national emergency caused by the Covid-19 menace, the amounts necessary to fund the allocations under the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for social and labor amelioration can be sourced from BSP’s fund relief.

Among others, the unreleased portions of the following appropriations under the 2020 GAA can be funded from the subject P300-billion:

The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) P8,733,927,000 for “protective services for individuals and families in especially difficult circumstances” and P108,765,970,000 for “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program”;

The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) P9,941,858,000 for “Workers Protection and Welfare”; P6,787,305,000 for “Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers – Government Internship Program” (TUPAD-GIP); and P423,126,000 livelihood program;

The Department of Health’s (DOH) P19,090,000,000 “for the purchase and allocation of drugs, medicines and vaccines”; P10,500,000,000 “for the social health protection program”; and P2,033,000,000 “for family health, nutrition and responsible parenting”;

The President’s contingent fund of P12,000,000,000; and

The National Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) or calamity fund of P16,000,000,000, as well as the various quick response funds (QRFs).

These multi-billion funds, which have comprehensive budgetary purposes can be funded and released without the need of reprogramming, reallocation or realignment.

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