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DILG, DFA may ask for budget revision

The Department of the Interior and Local Government may request for the realignment of its budget to rehire more contact tracers, Budget and Management Sec. Wendel Avisado said.

That only needs modification. That’s easy. There’s no need to elevate it to the President),” Avisado said.

Last week, the DILG said it would rehire for six months about 15,000 of the 50,000 CTs it hired last year to help sustain the government’s contact tracing efforts, especially in local government units with active and/or rising number of coronavirus disease infections.

This, after the Department of Budget and Management approved the allocation of P1.9 billion for the hiring of CTs nationwide this year.

The fund for the rehiring of CTs would come from the unreleased balance of Republic Act 11519 following the extension of the validity of the appropriations under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act and would supplement the P500 million allocated for the same purpose under this year’s national budget.

The DBM chief said the Department of Foreign Affairs can also request for the modification of its budget to address additional funding requirements.

He said the DFA can use whatever available funds they have.

And if they really need it and have ran out of funds, they can always ask for the President’s help through the available contingency fund,” he added.

Last week, Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the agency’s passport revolving fund has been depleted and the DFA owes the state-owned APO Production Unit. Inc. some P388 million for printing expenses.

Locsin later on said DBM has allowed the agency to realign funds to address fund constraints.