Jun 052013

MANILA, Philippines – Public spending on infrastructure and other capital outlays (CO) surged by nearly 45 percent in the first four months of the year to P75.2 billion, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported yesterday.

During the period under review, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) spent around P40 billion for key infrastructure projects while other funds were allocated for the construction of irrigation systems, classrooms and other education facilities as well as hospitals and health centers across the country.

Spending on maintenance and other operating expenditures (MOOE) grew 30.4 percent to P97.9 billion largely due to the government’s spending on preparatory activities for the 2013 national, local and ARMM elections as well as increased provisions to cover the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s conditional cash transfer program and the National Statistics Office’s conduct of Census of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“Through our budget reforms and, consequently, the improved quality of public spending, we were able to fill out crucial resource and supply gaps that may have affected the country’s fast-growing industries. Our disbursement performance proves that the Aquino administration is on track in fulfilling its goal of strengthening the country’s infrastructure base,” said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

Personal services rose 11.6 percent to P177.7 billion due largely to the salary adjustments of the last tranche of the Salary Standardization Law III, higher retirement and gratuity leave benefits, and payment for employees involved in the preparation activities for the just-concluded national elections.

Operational subsidies to GOCCs fell by 37.9 percent to P5.2 billion. Subsidies for the National Food Authority’s procurement of palay and corn and the National Health Insurance Program’s health insurance premium for indigents will be released, pending the submission of special budget requests and documentary requirements by both agencies.

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Net lending likewise declined due to the P12.3 billion in repayments made by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. This was slightly offset though by the advances provided to the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) for its debt servicing requirements.

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