• Govt infra, capital spending up 18.1%


    Infrastructure and other capital spending climbed in August, the Budget department said, with government resources having been used for priority public works, education and health projects.

    Data released during the weekend put spending at P40.1 billion during the month, up 18.1 percent compared with the P34 billion recorded a year earlier.

    In the year to date, expenditures grew 11.9 percent to P337.6 billion from P301.7 billion in the corresponding period last year, the agency said.

    The Budget department attributed the increase to payments for completed projects under the Public Works department, including those for road improvement and flood control.

    The rise was also traced to Education department projects involving the repair and rehabilitation of school facilities, and the Health department’s purchases of land and hospital equipment.

    Moving forward, the Budget department said disbursements for September would even be higher given the Public Works department’s requirements.

    “[T]he payment for the right-of-way claims for various DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) projects, as well as the procurement for the respective modernization programs of the DND-AFP (Department of National Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines) and DILG-PNP (Department of Interior and Local Government-Philippine National Police) are already on-going following the release of their allotments in August this year. These are expected to further increase disbursement levels in the succeeding months,” it said.

    Last week, the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office said Philippine economic growth could quicken to 6.8 percent in 2018 from an estimated 6.6 percent in 2017 as public sector infrastructure spending gained pace amid bouyant domestic consumption and exports.

    The Duterte government plans to spend P847 billion this year on public works projects to meet an infrastructure spending-to-gross domestic product ratio of 5.3 percent.

    Spending under the “Build Build Build” program is expected to total P8-9 trillion over the administration’s six-year term.


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