Expenditures on infrastructure and other capital expenditures also rose by 33.7 percent from P117.5 billion, according to the DBM’s latest disbursement report.
Michael Varcas
Infra spending exceeds target in Q1
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - April 26, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Public spending on infrastructure reached P157.1 billion in the first quarter, exceeding the government’s target of P143.4 billion for the period, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said yesterday.

Expenditures on infrastructure and other capital expenditures also rose by 33.7 percent from P117.5 billion, according to the DBM’s latest disbursement report.

For March alone, disbursements for infrastructure climbed by 32.4 percent to P63.4 billion from P47.9 billion in the same month in 2017.

The DBM attributed the increase to the completion of projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Department of Education (DepEd).

 “This is due mostly to check floats and payments of accounts payables for the implementation of road infrastructure projects of the DPWH, completed construction of police stations by DILG-PNP, and repairs and rehabilitation of school facilities as well as the purchase of office fixtures and furniture in various DepEd schools nationwide,” the DBM said in a statement.

According to the DBM, the substantial growth in infrastructure expenditures in the first quarter was one of the drivers for the increase in total government disbursements during the three-month period.

From January to March, government spending amounted to P782 billion, surpassing the P755.8 billion disbursement program for the first quarter. This was also 27 percent higher compared to last year’s level of P615.4 billion.

“The first quarter numbers suggest that the reforms we are implementing, in terms of budget planning and utilization, are gaining foothold,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

 “We will not let up in our efforts to limit underspending and continue with the efficient and accountable management of public resources,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) approved last Tuesday the quarterly fiscal program of the government.

Under the quarterly program, revenues are expected to reach P536.7 billion in the first quarter, P768.1 billion in the second quarter, P725.7 billion in the third quarter, and P815.7 billion in the last quarter.

This leads to a whole year revenue program of P2.846 trillion, 15.1 percent up from P2.47 trillion last year. The DBCC said this growth would be driven by the implementation of Packages 1A and 1B of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.

Disbursements are also programmed at P755.8 billion in the first quarter, P813.3 billion in the second quarter, P858.1 billion in the third quarter, and P942.8 billion in the fourth quarter, for a total of P3.37 trillion.

Broken down, the DBCC said P868.9 billion of the total expenditures in 2018 would be used for the infrastructure program – including national government infrastructure projects, and capital transfers to government-owned and -controlled corporations and local government units.

As a result of the quarterly revenue and disbursement assumptions, fiscal deficit is programmed to reach P219.1 billion in the first quarter, P45.3 billion in the second quarter, P132.3 billion in the third quarter, and P127 billion in the last  quarter.

For the whole of 2018, the fiscal deficit ceiling was pegged at P523.7 billion, equivalent to three percent of gross domestic product.

DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING
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