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DBM: Infra spending rises to P100B in Sept


STATE infrastructure and capital spending rebounded in September from a month earlier on the back of public works, military and judiciary projects, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported on Thursday.

Workers rush the completion of the Metro Rail Transit-7 (MRT-7) along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Sunday. The American Chamber of Commerce has set up an infrastructure tracker to monitor the major public works being undertaken by the Duterte administration, including the MRT-7. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

In its latest disbursement report, the Budget department said infrastructure and capital spending rose to P100.3 billion in September, a 53.9-percent increase from P65.2 billion in the same month last year.

The September growth was a rebound from the infrastructure and capital spending in August, which fell from a year earlier by 13.2 percent to P59.3 billion.

“Infrastructure spending is buoyed primarily by completed and partially completed projects of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), such as construction, upgrading, repair and rehabilitation of roads, bridges and flood control structures,” the DBM explained.

Capital expenditures related to the purchase of military equipment under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program of the Department of National Defense, and the construction of the new Supreme Court building of the Judiciary, also “ramped up infrastructure spending for the month,” it added.

Higher spending in September, however, failed to boost the year-to-date tally, which slipped by 8.1 percent to P546.3 billion.

The January-to-September figure put total national government spending — which includes expenditures for maintenance, personnel services and subsidies — at P2.62 trillion, up 5.5 percent or P137.2 billion from the amount in the same period last year.

Despite this, the Budget department said it “is optimistic that the national government [would] be able to meet its catch-up spending program before the end of the fiscal year in support of the [Duterte] administration’s growth targets.”

This program set an infrastructure spending target of P792.97 billion for the second to fourth quarters after actual infrastructure spending reached P207.2 billion in the first three months of 2019.

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Today’s Front Page February 18, 2020

Today’s Front Page February 18, 2020