THE cash utilization rate of government agencies hit 93% in the eight months to August, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
The National Government, local governments and state-owned companies used P2.65 trillion of the P2.85 trillion worth of notices of cash allocation (NCAs) issued as of the end of August. Unused NCAs amounted to P197.7 billion.
The NCA utilization rate was lagging the year-earlier pace of 95%.
NCAs are a quarterly disbursement authority that the DBM issues to agencies, allowing them to withdraw funds from the Bureau of the Treasury to support their spending needs.
In the eight-month period, line departments used P1.91 trillion or 91% of their allotments.
Only the Commission on Audit posted a 100% budget usage rate at the end of August.
Meanwhile, the Department of Information and Communication Technology had the lowest usage rate of 37%.
The DBM reported earlier that it had released P5.02 trillion or 95.3% of the 2023 national budget by the end of August.
Government agencies have been tasked to come up with “catch-up plans” for spending, after being flagged for low budget utilization in the first half.
The economy grew by a weaker-than-expected 4.3% in the second quarter, the lowest reading in two years. This was mainly attributed to weak government spending, which contracted 7.1%.
DBM Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman has said that the economy could have expanded by 5.3% in the second quarter if not for underspending by key agencies. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson