The government’s capital outlay grew by 25.4 percent to P93.7 billion in the first four months of the year from the same period in 2013, with most infrastructure disbursements in April channeled to rehabilitation works in communities hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
In a statement on Monday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the government extended its cumulative double-digit expansion for infrastructure disbursements year-on-year.
Infrastructure spending in January to April last year totaled only P75.2 billion, or P18.5 billion lower than this year’s level.
DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said the increase in infrastructure spending propelled overall government disbursements to P626.1 billion in the first four months, 7.2 percent higher than the P584 billion recorded during the same period of 2013.
“Our infrastructure spending is still going at a faster clip year-on-year. Although post-Yolanda reconstruction activities have played a major role in our infrastructure disbursements,” Abad said.
Abad added that the government’s campaign to “build back better” in Yolanda-hit areas requires the introduction of better standards in the recovery and reconstruction process.
“We aren’t merely preoccupied with restoring damaged structures. We’re also determined to rebuild public infrastructure — such as schools and hospitals — so they’re more disaster-resistant,” he said.
The Budget chief also noted the government’s higher disbursements to support local government units (LGUs), where total capital transfers topped at P113.9 billion as of April, up by 12.3 percent from the P101.4 billion recorded in the same period last year.
Abad said that more funds are being directed to local governments to help them with their capacity-building initiatives.
“As our LGUs become more and efficient, their constituents can likewise look forward to the improved delivery of public services. This is one of the many ways through which better government spending can create a direct and substantial impact on the lives of citizens,” he said.
Abad also assured that the government would maintain its spending momentum for infrastructure projects, as well as for other socio-economic programs as part of its bid for inclusive growth.
Mayvelin U. Caraballo