Government spending dropped 7.7 percent in November from a year earlier, with data showing slower utilization of Notices of Cash Allocation (NCAs) by agencies, as well as reduced disbursements on non-NCA items, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
DBM data showed on Tuesday that government disbursements in November totaled P151.4 billion, P12.6 billion lower than the P164 billion recorded a year earlier.
November government spending was also 2.2 percent lower than the P154.8 billion of outlays in October 2014.
The budget agency traced the lower spending in November to the slower utilization of Notices of Cash Allocation (NCAs) by agencies, driven by contractions in spending by the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of National Defense (DND), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
A large part of this decrease was also a result of spending less on non-NCA items including net lending, tax subsidies, and interest payments, it said.
Non-NCA disbursements in November of 2014 amounted to P10.3 billion, 27.5 percent lower than in the previous year.
In particular, the DBM noted that net lending reached just P3.8 billion in November 2014, in the form of a loan to the National Development Company (NDC).
This is compared to the P12.0 billion in advances made to the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC) in 2013, it said.
“While the November report showed lower disbursements compared to the previous month’s performance, this can be attributed largely to better management of government’s lending, our debt, and subsidies to GOCCs [government-owned and -controlled corporations],” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
He added that the disbursement performance during the month reflects the national government’s progress in keeping down costs that don’t involve crucial projects and programs.
In spite of the slowdown, government spending for the 11 months to November 2014 climbed 5.1 percent to P1.762 trillion from P1.677 trillion in the comparable period in 2013.
The DBM noted that capital outlay for infrastructure was 6.3 percent or P14 billion higher for the 11-month period compared to 2013 levels.
Infrastructure spending during the period amounted to P237.3 billion from P223.3 billion a year earlier, reflecting the government’s continued commitment to building and rehabilitating roads and bridges, as well as completing other infrastructure projects, the DBM concluded.