Think tank flags funding deficiency for 205 laws

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2023 11:33 AM

MANILA — A congressional think tank has flagged the funding deficiency for 205 laws in a paper published on the House of Representatives website.

Of this figure, 163 laws or 79.5 percent remained unfunded while the rest were partially unfunded, the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department said, citing reports from the Department of Budget and Management.

It said 159 laws had no specified funding requirement, while the remaining 46 required P915.4 billion in funds.

A law that seeks to reduce electricity rates and a measure on military modernization are among the unfunded laws. 

"Some of the reasons why laws are not enforced are lack of resources, low priority given by implementing line agencies, no costing estimates or indicated funding requirements, and absence of implementing rules and regulations," the CPBRD noted.

The think tank said the laws could have been funded, given the low budget utilization rates in other agencies. 

"Unused appropriations not only deprive the people of enjoying the benefits from completed projects, but it also parks funds which could have otherwise been utilized for other productive purposes," the CPBRD said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways is one of the agencies the CPBRD flagged for low budget utilization. 

"Although the obligation rates of the departments are generally high, disbursement rates (computed as a ratio to total available appropriations) are low, indicating delays and non-completion of projects," the think tank said. 

"Disbursement rate of the DPWH in 2022 is highest at 61.2 percent, which is a marked improved from the previous years with the lowest (28.6 percent) posted in 2020," it added. 

The CPBRD noted that the proposed 2024 budget allocates P1.42 trillion for infrastructure development. 

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