Infra spending up by 44.8% in Nov. 2017; Build program tagged
Spending on infrastructure rose by 44.8 percent in November 2017 and played a key role in raising government disbursement for that month, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Thursday.
DBM said infrastructure disbursement reached P43.8 billion last November, an increase of P13.6 billion from the P30.2 billion released in the same month in 2016.
In a statement, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno attributed the rise in infrastructure spending to the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program, which he said would usher in the Golden Age of Infrastructure in the Philippines.
Apart from infrastructure and capital outlays, the DBM said another driver for disbursement growth was personnel services (PS).
“PS reached P97.6 billion, P14.3 billion or 17.1% higher than the level in the previous year,” the DBM said.
The agency said the rise in PS spending was due to “the release of the year-end bonus and cash gift of government employees; the release of 2016 Performance-Based Bonus of some agencies; as well as the requirements for the creation/filling of pension (DepEd, SUCs, and PNP); and retirement gratuity benefits of retirees in various agencies (DILG and DND).”
Infrastructure and PS spending buoyed total disbursements in November 2017 to P252.1 billion, a 10.4 percent increase from the same month last year.
“In sum, national government disbursements from January to November 2017 amounted to P2.494 trillion, up by 10.1% from the comparable period in 2016,” the DBM said in a press statement.
“The statistics on government disbursements only bolster our thrust for efficient and effective public service delivery,” Diokno said.
The DBM said some of the major projects that contributed to the growth in infrastructure disbursements include completed road infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the purchase of various equipment under the Capability Enhancement Program of the Department of Interior and Local Governance-Philippine National Police (DILG-PNP), and payments for supplies, repair and maintenance of patrol vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
“I assure you that the DBM, in coordination with the line agencies, have exerted all its efforts to ensure the expedient and prudent management of public resources,” said Diokno.
“We have actively sought to limit underspending, defined as the deviation of program from actual disbursements, and expect to see even better results with the full-year FY 2017 disbursement report,” he added.
“In essence, the DBM will not let up in its reform initiatives and will strive for continual improvement,” the secretary said.
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