The Department of Social Welfare and Development has yet to spend over 83 billion pesos under the 2019 and 2020 general appropriations acts, and the two Bayanihan COVID-19 response laws, senators learned.
At the deliberations of the DSWD’s proposed 175-billion-peso budget for 2021, Senator Franklin Drilon said it was “almost criminal” for the DSWD to have unspent funds when Filipinos need aid amid the pandemic and recent disasters.
DSWD budget sponsor Senator Imee Marcos said 75 billion pesos of the agency’s 2020 budget remained unobligated. Another 1.5 billion pesos from its 2019 allocations remained in its coffers.
For the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Bayanihan 1, DSWD still has one billion pesos unobligated and another 5.7 billion pesos under the second Bayanihan law, according to Marcos.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urged his colleagues to pass a resolution pressing the DSWD to fast-track the release of such funds.