By Karl Angelo N. Vidal, Reporter
CASH use by government agencies slightly grew to 99% in the first quarter of the year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
The utilization ratio was calculated against the Notice of Cash Allocations (NCA) amounting to P622.4 billion in the January-March period, of which P614.6 billion was disbursed.
The utilization rate in the three months ending March was a tad higher than the 98% posted in the same period last year.
NCA is a cash authority issued quarterly by the DBM to central, regional and provincial offices and operating units to cover their cash requirements.
The agencies have until the end of this quarter to fully disburse funds allocated to them before they lapse and turn into savings.
In March alone, a total of P247.2 billion or 137% of the P180.9 billion authorized was spent.
Meanwhile, line agencies used P455.3 billion out of NCA releases amounting to P463 billion, which means utilization rate was at 98%.
State agencies such as Office of the Vice President, Department of Education, Department of Defense, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections and Office of the Ombudsman recorded the highest utilization ratio, logging a 100% rate in the first quarter.
On the other hand, the Department of Foreign Affairs had the lowest NCA utilization rate in the first quarter at 61%, using only P2.32 billion worth of NCAs out of P3.83 billion authorized.
Government allotments to local government units as well as budgetary support to state-owned and -controlled corporations also tallied a 100% utilization rate.
The government is currently operating on a reenacted 2018 budget, which leaves new programs and even big-ticket infrastructure projects unfunded.