ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Gov’t spending on infra surges 96% in April
Philippines:Government spending on infrastructure nearly doubled in April under the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Wednesday.
Data released by the DBM showed disbursements for infrastructure and other capital outlays reached P65.6 billion last month, up 95.9 percent from P33.5 billion a year earlier.
Total government spending in April reached P261.2 billion, up 42.7 percent from P183.1 billion in the same comparable period.
“This huge chunk is attributable to strong spending on infrastructure and capital outlays, which is in line with our ambitious Build, Build, Build program,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a breakfast forum in Pasig City.
“This puts total government spending at P1.03 trillion for the first four months of the year or a 29-percent increase year-on-year,” Diokno said.
Infrastructure spending surged on account of various road projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), including improvement, upgrade, and widening of roads and bridges; construction and improvement of access roads leading to declared tourism destinations; construction of flood control/mitigation structures and drainage systems; preventive maintenance projects; and payment of right-of-way claims.
Capital outlay projects of state universities and colleges, specifically the purchase of laboratory and information and technology equipment and construction of academic buildings and facilities of the University of the Philippines system; and the construction of police stations and purchase of equipment under the Capability Enhancement Program of the Department of Interior and Local Government-Philippine National Police also contributed to higher infrastructure spending in April.
“Yes, we’re more than on track. In fact, we’re overspending in a sense, although the limit to our spending is the annual spending. But in terms of quarterly target, we are spending more than what we have programmed,” Diokno said.
Diokno noted the government cannot “overspend” or exceed the annual budget approved by Congress.
The Budget chief said disbursements on infrastructure are expected to slow down during the rainy season.
Maintenance and operations, meanwhile, totaled P33.4 billion, up 33.1 percent from P25.1 billion.
Personnel services expanded by 24 percent to P71.8 billion on account of the third tranche implementation of compensation adjustments and higher pay for military and uniformed personnel.
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