The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Wednesday that the country’s infrastructure spending went up by 33.9 percent in September year-on-year, as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) intensified its construction programs this year.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that in line with the increase in infrastructure spending, the government will also raise fourth-quarter infrastructure funding through the reconstruction efforts in areas in the Visayas struck by the Super Typhoon Yolanda.
“Together with implementing agencies, [the DBM is] facilitating the swift and efficient management of government disbursements so public expenditures can sustain their present momentum. The goal, of course, is to post a strong finish in the fourth quarter of the year,” he said.
“Despite the devastation caused by the recent spate of calamities, we want to assure the public that the DBM is still committed to strengthen its expenditures so that the economy does not take a significant hit, even with the operational setbacks that disasters tend to bring. The vigor of the Aquino administration’s relief and rehabilitation operations, at least, should help ease government spending along,” Abad added.
For the first nine months of the year, government infrastructure spending reached P183 billion compared to the P136 billion recorded during the same time period last year. Furthermore, total government funding as of September went up by 11.8 percent from P1.2 trillion last year to P1.4 trillion this year.
“Our continued drive for efficient public spending, particularly for infrastructure and capital outlay, has shown consistent year-on-year improvements over the last three quarters. We are looking to further boost our investments to this end and minimize infrastructure gaps by the end of the year to facilitate greater economic expansion—one that is inclusive and brings tangible benefits for all Filipinos,” Abad said.
He also said that the DBM is looking for alternative sources of funds for the restoration of basic services in the Visayas region hit by the typhoon.
“We are now looking at available funds from this year’s budget that can be utilized for urgent requirements like the restoration of basic services, which will then be shortly followed by the provision of shelter services and the restoration of livelihood and employment, among many others,” the Budget secretary said.
Of the P2-trillion budget of 2013, the DBM has disbursed P1.84 trillion as of end-September.
“This 91.8-percent obligation rate reflects a faster budget execution rate when compared to the 87.3 percent seen over the same period last year,” the DBM said.