Gov't seeks P2 trillion in special purpose funds in 2024

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2023 01:46 PM

MANILA — Government is seeking some P2.3 trillion in lump sum special purpose funds in the 2024 proposed budget, a congressional think tank said. 

These funds "are top-up allocations to the budgets of recipient departments or agencies released during budget execution as determined by special conditions," according to the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD). 

"For 2024, the budget allocation for SPFs (special purpose funds) amounts to a total of P2,398.6 billion. This is 17.9 percent higher than the 2023 programmed level of P2,033.7 billion," the think tank said in a study published on the House website. 

CPBRD observed that about 42 percent of the special purpose funds would go to local government units. 

The special funds also include P222.5 billion worth of assistance to government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs). 

Two of the biggest recipients of budgetary support are the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the National Irrigation Administration (DA-NIA), the CPBRD said.

Some P135.7 billion, meanwhile, is earmarked for the miscellaneous personnel benefit fund which covers salary adjustments, performance-based bonuses, benefits, and legal expenses. 

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) will get P31.0 billion in SPFs for calamity response and personnel training. 

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The Revised Armed Forces Modernization Program will get P50 billion. 

The SPFs also include P253.2 billion for the pension and gratuity fund of the military and uniformed personnel, which highlights the need for pension reform, the think tank said. 

Another special purpose fund is the P13-billion contingent fund. 

Aside from the SPFs, government is also seeking to authorize P281.9 billion in unprogrammed funds, which may be accessed only when there are excess revenue collections, new revenues or approved loans for foreign-assisted projects.