Govt infra spending goal exceeded – DBM

GOVERNMENT infrastructure expenditures exceeded the full-year target as of end-September, Budget department data showed, amid a Marcos administration push to ramp up spending in support of the economy.

The nine-month tally of P857.6 billion was 19.1 percent more than the year-earlier P720.3 billion and also breached the P740.7 billion programmed by the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee.

“Infrastructure and other capital outlays increased … on the back of the strong spending performance of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), and the constructive receipt of cash payments of the DoTr (Department of Transportation) for their foreign-assisted rail transport projects,” the Budget department said in its latest disbursement performance report.

Including transfers to local government units and state-owned firms, it said that overall infrastructure disbursements as of end-September was 12.9 percent higher at a little over P1 trillion.

The amount was equivalent to 5.9 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), the department said, surpassing the 2023 target of 5.3 percent.

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Overall government spending totaled P3,821.3 billion for January-September, 4.1 percent higher year-on-year but P40.9 billion short of the programmed P3.862.2 billion as on the back of lower operating expenditures.

Spending for this category totaled P2.784.8 billion, higher than the P2.727.3 posted a year earlier but below the targeted P2.929.7 billion.

The Budget department said the government remained confident of achieving its disbursement program given expectations of quicker utilization rates during the last three months of the year.

The remaining balance from the 2023 disbursement program was said to be P1.407.1 billion, equivalent to 26.9 percent of the full-year program of P5.228.4 billion.

Additional spending items aimed at bolstering disbursements include social protection payouts, educational grants, financial assistance for farmers, infrastructure, irrigation subsidies, as well as year-end bonuses and cash gifts.