The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Monday that October government infrastructure spending went up by 25.7 percent compared to last year, and is seen to further rise because of larger disbursements in the wake of rehabilitation efforts for areas hard hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
In a statement, the DBM said that infrastructure and capital outlay increased by 25.7 percent, or to P42.5 billion in October.
The increase in October disbursements, along with previous months of the year with higher infra expenditure, pushed the improvement of infrastructure fund releases for the first 10 months of the year from P1.37 trillion last year to P1.51 trillion this year, for a 10-percent increase amounting to P144.5 billion.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that infrastructure and capital outlays disbursements were mostly for “settlement of accounts for public infra projects, irrigation projects, various transportation and communication infrastructure and equipment . . . and health facilities.”
Abad is confident that government infrastructure investments would set a record by the end of the year, and will further go up next year as reconstruction activities for Yolanda-stricken areas intensify.
“The next few months will most likely be marked by energetic government spending, supported for the most part by reconstruction programs for Yolanda-hit communities,” Abad said.
“These programs and projects will be very quickly rolled out by the Aquino administration and local governments to all affected areas, so that the needs of Yolanda victims are met as swiftly as possible,” the Budget secretary said.
“At the same time, the disbursements that support the implementation of these projects will allow the country’s economy to gain more steam, so that we’re in a better position to facilitate rapid, sustainable, and inclusive growth in the country,” he added.
Personal services or labor, maintenance and other operating expenditures, as well as subsidies to government-owned and -controlled companies (GOCC) also increased in October in terms of expense classes for infrastructure spending.
The DBM said that personnel services rose to P475.4 billion because of “higher retirement gratuity and terminal leave claims,” as well as the P2.9-billion release for the Total Administrative Disability pension for the 16,980 World War II military beneficiaries.
Maintenance and other operating expenditures, on the other hand, increased by 20.7 percent to P230.5 billion, as intensified relief and rehabilitation programs were funded for the areas affected Typhoon Santi and the Cebu-Bohol earthquake, as well as “addressing the humanitarian needs of displaced persons or families from Sabah,” which was sourced from the Quick Response Fund of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Lastly, subsidies to GOCCs also went up by 75.3 percent, or P15.4 billion compared to October last year, because of the releases to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the National Housing Authority.