52.8% higher year-on-year at P104.8B
Government spending on infrastructure rose in the first quarter of 2016 from a year and quarter earlier, with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) expressing confidence the robust capital expenditure growth will continue in the current quarter.
A DBM assessment released over the weekend showed government spending for infrastructure and other capital outlays jumped 52.8 percent to P104.8 billion in the first three months of the year from P68.5 billion spent a year earlier.
Government infrastructure spending in the fourth quarter of 2015 reached approximately P91 billion, a 13-percent increase year-on-year, according to the DBM.
The budget agency said among the projects that helped boost capital expenditures were completed works of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) from its regular maintenance, repair and rehabilitation operations of road networks nationwide.
Transport infrastructure projects of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), and implementation of local infrastructure development projects in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), were also cited.
Some non-infrastructure programs, however, are included under the expenditure category.
“This also includes projects under the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] Modernization Program such as purchase of ammunitions and acquisition of C130 aircraft; and construction of police stations and procurement of various equipment under the Capability Enhancement Program of the Philippine National Police,” the DBM added.
The Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the Department of Health (DOH) was also noted as a contributor to the spending increase.
Going forward, the DBM said capital expenditures are likely to continue their upward trajectory as indicated by spending trends during the second quarter. This was largely attributed to the DPWH taking advantage of the summer season for its construction activities.
Finally, it said programming of the Department of National Defense relative to the implementation of projects under the AFP Modernization Program would also provide a boost to government spending in the second quarter.
The national government has P631.9 billion programmed spending for infrastructure and other capital outlays this year.