Infra spending up 8.3% in Jan-Feb
Spending on infrastructure rose 8.3 percent year-on-year to P69.6 billion during the first two months mainly as the government built more roads and flood control projects, the Department of Budget and Management said.
End-February expenditures on infrastructure and other capital outlays increased from P64.3 billion a year ago, which the DBM attributed in a report to “the implementation of the road infrastructure program and flood control projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways.”
Also, the government lumped into the amount spent on infrastructure and other capital outlays during the first two months the country’s P1.9-billion initial capital contribution to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Philippines had been required to contribute to the AIIB a total of $200 million or roughly P10 billion in paid-in capital, payable in five tranches until 2019.
The Philippine government already officially proposed to the AIIB co-financing of the $500-million project aimed at preventing flooding in the National Capital Region as documents showed that $150 million had been sought for the Metro Manila Flood Management Project.
The Department of Finance had said the government was planning to borrow up to $500 million from the AIIB this year to fund ready-to-implement projects.
In the month of February alone, disbursements on infrastructure and other capital outlays inched up to P35.1 billion from P34.3 billion a year ago and P34.5 billion a month ago.
Early this week, economic managers unveiled the administration’s so-called “DuterteNomics” thrust of “Build, Build, Build” that they claimed will usher in a “golden age of infrastructure.”
A total of P8.4 trillion will be spent by the Duterte administration over the next six years to build vital infrastructure such that the share of infrastructure spending to the gross domestic product (GDP) will rise from 5.4 percent this year to 7.4 percent in 2022. —BEN O. DE VERA
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