Infrastructure spending up 11% in first 7 months
Government spending on infrastructure jumped by a fourth in July as Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno assured the public that there would be no more underspending on public goods and services for the rest of the year.
The latest Department of Budget and Management data showed that expenditures on infrastructure and other capital outlays rose 25 percent to P48.4 billion at the start of the second half from P38.7 billion in July last year.
“The growth in capital expenditures resulted from the implementation of flood control, road improvement and road widening projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways; acquisition of naval and air defense assets of the Department of National Defense under the Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization program; purchase of equipment and other infrastructure outlays under the health facilities enhancement program of the Department of Health, and payments for transport infrastructure projects of the Department of Transportation such as the right-of-way acquisition for the Southwest Integrated Transport System project and completed civil works for the Light Rail Transit-2 East Extension project,” the DBM explained in a report.
The amount spent to build infrastructure in July, however, was lower than the P51.9 billion in June.
From January to July, disbursements for infrastructure and other capital outlays climbed 11.1 percent to P297.5 billion from P267.7 billion a year ago.
The end-July increase in infrastructure spending was attributed by the DBM to the implementation of road infrastructure programs of the DPWH, modernization of defense facilities and assets of the DND and other capital outlay projects in the DOTr, state universities and colleges, the DOH and other agencies.
Total disbursements as of July—including current operating expenditures, capital outlays and net lending—increased 9.3 percent to P1.58 trillion from P1.44 trillion last year.
In July alone, the amount spent by the government on public goods and services grew 11 percent to P245.1 billion from P220.9 billion a year ago.
“The growth of disbursements in July this year, which is double the growth for the same month in 2016, is a positive indication that the government has gotten past the adjustment stage or transition period. This gives us optimism that the growth of government spending will be sustained until the end of the year. This expectation is supported by the spending behavior of line agencies,” the DBM said. —BEN O. DE VERA
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.