• April infra spending up 44.8% to P75.2 billion

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    Government spending for infrastructure and other capital outlays as of April surged to P75.2 billion, or an increment of 44.8 percent year-on-year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported on Wednesday.

    The budget and management department noted that April infrastructure spending was P23 billion higher than last year’s figure, adding that it supported the government’s agenda of accelerating economic development toward inclusive growth.

    The DBM attributed the increase to actual disbursements of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which spent around P40 billion for key infrastructure projects.

    “Resource gaps for the construction of irrigation systems, classrooms and other education facilities, as well as hospitals and health centers were also addressed through significant disbursements by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Education and Department of Health, respectively,” it stated.

    On the other hand, maintenance and other operating expenses also jumped by 30.4 percent, or P22.8 billion to P97.9 billion in the last four months.

    “The government’s spending on preparatory activities for the 2013 national, local and ARMM [Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao] elections—as well as increased provisions to cover the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program and the National Statistics Office’s conduct of Census of Agriculture and Fisheries—are credited for the disbursement jump,” the DBM added.

    Budget Secretary Florencio Abad explained that through budget reforms and the improved quality of public spending, the government were able to fill out crucial resource and supply gaps that may have affected the country’s fast-growing industries.

    “Our disbursement performance proves that the Aquino administration is on track in fulfilling its goal of strengthening the country’s infrastructure base,” Abad said.

    “Our public expenditure reforms have also allowed us to deliver direct, quality programs and social services to the people at a significantly faster pace—as we have seen year-on-year—targeted toward achieving rapid, sustainable and inclusive growth,” he added.

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