Infrastructure spending jumps to P80 billion in November

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Infrastructure spending jumps to P80 billion in November
Workers apply some concrete at a construction site in Parañaque, Metro Manila on June 4, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The government ramped up its infrastructure spending in November, with expenses jumping by nearly 40 percent to P80 billion, as some roads and building projects were completed toward the end of 2022, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

Based on the latest national government disbursement performance report of the DBM, state infrastructure expenditure and other capital outlays surged by 38.4 percent to P80.2 billion in November from P58 billion in the same period in 2021.

The growth of infrastructure expenditures also accounted for more than half of the P42.3 billion total increase in disbursements during the period.

The DBM said the expansion was propelled by the completed and partially completed projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) across the country.

This covered the construction, improvement, repair, and rehabilitation of national, secondary, access, by-pass, and diversion roads, bridges and flood control structures, as well as the construction of multi-purpose buildings.

Capital expenditures related to various projects for the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program of the Department of National Defense were also increased in November.

For the 11-month period, infrastructure spending also rose by 14.3 percent to P869.2 billion from P760.4 billion in the same period in 2021.

On the other hand, overall government spending for November reached P455 billion, up by 10.2 percent on a yearly basis. This brought the 11-month expenses to P4.51 trillion, nearly 10 percent higher from year ago figures.

Broken down, personnel services expenditures slightly went up by four percent to P160.8 billion following the implementation of the third tranche of the salary standardization law, release of year end bonuses and cash gifts and requirements for retirement and terminal leave benefits, as well as additional filled positions.

The government also recorded higher maintenance and other operating expenses to P87.9 billion due to payouts for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and healthcare workers allowances.

Combined allotment and capital transfers to local government units likewise rose by 28 percent to P86.2 billion on higher tax allotments due to the Mandanas Ruling.

Tax expenditures also soared to P7.1 billion from just P500 million due to higher recorded documentary stamp taxes on government securities.

This is also attributed to the payment of Customs duties and taxes for imports of AFP’s modernization program, the Department of Transportation’s railway projects, and the DPWH’s construction materials, tools, and equipment.

Meanwhile, a decrease in government spending was noted in subsidy support to government corporations, which went down to P6.2 billion mainly due to the timing of releases to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and lower subsidy requests from other GOCCs.

Interest payments also decreased by 16.4 percent to P26.1 billion due to maturities and discounts from domestic reissuances in 2021 for the 10-year fixed rate Treasury bonds.

As of end-November, the remaining balance of the 2022 adjusted P5.285 trillion obligation program amounts to P136.9 billion or 2.6 percent.

“Based on historical trends and agency spending behavior, line departments speed up program implementation and process payments ahead of lapsing of cash allocations and agency closing of books toward the end of the year,” the DBM said.

“On account of these factors and relatively strong spending performance for October and November, the full-year 2022 disbursements are expected to surpass the target spending for the year,” it said.

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