THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) warned local government units (LGUs) and government agencies against dealing with individuals and groups claiming the ability to fast-track the release of budget funds.
Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado, in Circular Letter 2021-2 dated Feb. 9, said individuals and organized groups are claiming they can facilitate or influence the release of special allotment release orders (SAROs) and notices of cash allocation (NCAs) for this year’s P4.5-trillion budget.
SARO is an authority given by the DBM permitting agencies and LGUs to incur obligations to cover the funding needed for a certain program, while the NCA represents clearance to use cash set aside for them.
“We strongly advise all National Government Agencies (NGAs), LGUs and all others concerned to refrain from entertaining or transacting with such individuals/organized groups,” according to the circular, published Thursday.
“This is to emphasize that the DBM does not authorize any person or group of persons to coordinate, more so solicit any amount from NGAs/LGUs, in order to facilitate the release of funds,” it added.
It said the DBM is following the formal procedures for the release funds and there is no need for middlemen to intervene in the process.
“In order to avoid disclosure of valuable information… the DBM shall refrain from divulging the status or details of fund releases in case of phone queries,” it said.
However, inquiries sent through e-mail will be entertained if there is an authorization letter and an identification card attached.
The DBM released 58.42% or P2.629 trillion of the P4.5-trillion budget for the year as of January, leaving about P1.877 trillion to disburse over the remaining 11 months. — Beatrice M. Laforga