Screen grab from the president’s report to Congress dated March 30, 2020.

Editor’s note: In this story, the total amount of funds ready for spending was revised to P864.01 billion, taking into account the correct amount of unreleased appropriations, P209.907 billion, and amounts released for programs, activities and projects of three departments, P154.105 billion.


The government has some P860 billion in funds ready for spending to fight Covid-19, according to a report submitted by President Rodrigo Duterte to Congress on Monday.

Most of the funds were freed up by the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” that granted the president special powers, such as realigning unused budget allotments.

DOWNLOAD: President Rodrigo Duterte’s Report to Congress, March 30, 2020

An initial “cash sweep” of excess and unauthorized cash balances from national agencies and government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) found P100 billion available for social amelioration, the report said.


Central bank repurchase agreement               300.00
Unreleased appropriations, special purpose funds               209.91
Programs, activities projects of DSWD DOLE, DOH               154.11
Cash sweep, Bureau of the Treasury               100.00
Initial dividends from GOCCs               100.00
Total               864.01
Source: President’s Report to Congress, 30 March 2020

The central bank has also made available P300 billion under a repurchase agreement facility in which the national government would be allowed to convert P300 billion in government securities into cash, provided that it would repurchase the instruments in six months.

This will ensure “uninterrupted access to cash,” Duterte said in his report, the first of every-Monday reports required by the Bayanihan Act rushed by Congress in a special session last March 23.

In a statement released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) last March 23, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon was quoted as saying, “This arrangement is the most cost-effective way for us to provide an extra lifeline to the national government to support the programs to fight this pandemic.”

BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno said: “This additional amount is intended to provide support for those most affected by the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), especially in Luzon, for the next 60-90 days.”

Duterte’s report also cited P154.105 billion worth of projects, activities and programs that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Health (DOH) could readily implement, and P209.97 in unreleased appropriations related to special purpose funds.

GOCCs were also tasked to remit P100 billion worth of dividends, or the government’s share of their profits, representing excess or unprogrammed revenues. (