Agencies’ expenditure efficiency rises to 70 percent

State agencies in the Philippines have shown an improvement in their spending rate at the beginning of the year, according to data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). In January, notices of cash allocation (NCAs) increased by three percent to P293.56 billion compared to the same month in 2023.

The utilization rate also saw an improvement, rising to 70 percent from 66 percent. This indicates that agencies have a greater capacity to implement their programs and projects. Out of the total releases, P205.02 billion was utilized, while P88.54 billion remained unused.

The DBM had earlier urged state agencies to increase their spending, as low budget utilization can impact economic growth. More funds were released at the beginning of the year to facilitate the early implementation of projects. NCAs are disbursement orders by the DBM to government banks to release funds to agencies for their programs and projects.

Line departments received 73.1 percent of NCA releases, amounting to P214.7 billion, while the remaining 26.9 percent or P78.86 billion went to other agencies, including state-run firms and local governments. The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) received the highest NCAs in January, with P56.43 billion and P56.17 billion, respectively.

While DepEd utilized 61 percent of its NCAs, the DPWH only spent about 32 percent of its allocation. The Commission on Human Rights was the only agency that achieved a 100 percent utilization rate in January. On the other hand, the Office of the Ombudsman had the lowest utilization rate at 27 percent of its NCAs totaling P108.27 million out of the P397.81 million allocation.

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