September 23, 2023 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The government increased its releases of cash allocations but spending usage of state agencies remained low as of end-August, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Notices of cash allocation (NCAs) rose by 2.31 percent to P2.85 trillion as of end-August from P2.79 trillion in the same period last year.
Despite the increase, government agencies recorded a slightly lower utilization rate of 93 percent from January to August compared to a year ago’s 95 percent.
This means that of the total releases, P197.71 billion was unused as of end-August.
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.
Almost 75 percent of NCA releases were secured by line departments at P2.11 trillion. The remaining P744.64 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 internal revenue allotment, special shares and other transfers for LGUs.
Line departments, on the other hand, registered a lower utilization rate of 91 percent or P1.91 trillion for the NCAs they received as of end-August. Same period last year, the spending rate was higher at 93 percent.
By departments, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Education (DepEd) still obtained the highest NCAs worth P581.3 billion and P414.56 billion, respectively, in the eight-month period.
Data showed that DPWH managed to utilize 90 percent of their allocation while DepEd used up 96 percent.
Only the Commission on Audit recorded a 100-percent utilization rate.
Other agencies that posted above 95 percent usage rate are the DBM and the departments of Finance, Interior and Local Government, Justice, National Defense, as well as the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Human Rights.
On the other hand, the Department of Information and Communication Technology registered the worst NCA utilization rate as of August at only 37 percent of its NCAs totaling P3.07 billion out of the P8.36 billion allocation.
The Department of Migrant Workers came in second with a utilization rate of 39 percent at P3.74 billion out of P9.65 billion while the Department of Agriculture is at third with a spending rate of 68 percent.
Last year, the DBM released a record high P4.42 trillion worth of NCAs as the government expedited programs and projects that could help the country recover from the pandemic.