Infrastructure spending up 37.3% in Q2

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The government’s infrastructure spending in the second quarter of the year rose 37.3 percent due to the higher funding requirements of infrastructure development programs under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

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Expenditure on infrastructure and capital outlay (CO) surged to P81.8 billion in the April to June period from P59.6 billion in the same period last year, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad told reporters in a press briefing on Wednesday.

“The main driver for infrastructure and capital outlay increase is the DPWH, because in the first quarter, [spending by the agency]was P4.387 below program, but in the second quarter, it was P8.825 billion above program,” Abad said.

Faster disbursements for public infrastructure and CO from April to June raised the total government spending to P567.9 billion in the second quarter, up 12.4 percent year-on-year. That boosted the first-half public government spending to P1.07 trillion.

“Second-quarter figures show that government spending is now at a steady and encouraging clip. Furthermore, infrastructure spending will continue to play a major role in firing up disbursements, as the Aquino administration sustains the expansion of public infrastructure in the country,” Abad said.

Anti-poverty, LGU spending also up
Maintenance and other operating expenditures climbed 16.2 percent to P93.2 billion in the second quarter.

“This was due mostly to the continuing expansion of the Aquino administration’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Community Development Program under the
Department of Social Welfare and Development,” the agency said in a statement.

Spending on personnel services (PS) increased 20.7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, resulting in PS disbursements of P186.4 billion for the period.

“The improvement is mostly on account of the release of the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) to government employees in June, as well as the mid-year bonus distributed to government personnel earlier in May,” it said.

Lastly, local government unit (LGU allocations jumped by 14.1 percent from P68.3 billion in the comparative period, raising local government allotments to nearly P78 billion in the second quarter of 2015.

“LGU allocations are composed largely of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shares and Capital Transfers, which have been amply supported by robust tax collection and the implementation of the excise tax reforms,” it said.

Abad noted that interest payments from April to June—amounting to P55.5 billion—contracted by 2 percent year-on-year in line with the Administration’s drive to improve its debt burden management.

“When we devote less of the budget to national debt, we can allocate more resources to anti-poverty and economic development programs,” Abad added.

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