Govt. spending up by 28% in October

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Government spent a total of P226.9 billion in October, up by 28.2 percent, the highest growth recorded this year. Its cumulative January to October expenditure rose to P2.241 trillion, or an increase of 10 percent year on year.

 

The jump was traced to the current operating expenditure, which rose by 35.2 percent to P164.1 billion in October driven by the growth in maintenance and other operating expenditures, which grew by 111 percent reaching P40.4 billion.

 

This was traced to the release of cash assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, social pension and other assistance programs for the victims of natural disasters and calamities.

 

At the same time, expenditures in connection with the relief work and operations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for Marawi contributed to the spike in MOOE spending.

 

Personnel Services meanwhile amounted to P60 billion, increasing by 8.8 percent, due to the higher compensation of civilian personnel and increased allowances of military and uniformed personnel pursuant to EO 201, s. 2016.

 

Capital Outlays amounted to P60.6 billion in October for a 10.4 percent year-on-year increase. Infrastructure and Other Capital Outlays comprised the bulk of capital spending reaching P51.5 billion, expanding by 17.8 percent.

 

The boost in infrastructure spending was primarily due to the public works projects of the DPWH such as road construction and flood control rehabilitation or improvements.

 

The acquisition of transport and other equipment of the DILG-PNP under its Capability Enhancement Program and the payment for various communications, navigational and air traffic management system projects, and civil works for the LRT Lines 1 and 2 extension projects of the Department of Transportation also contributed to the higher infrastructure and other capital spending.

 

Looking ahead, some P331.2 billion or 9.9 percent of the P3.35 trillion obligation program is still available for release to line agencies sourced from both the agency-specific budgets and Special Purpose Funds. Line agencies have been expediting the requests for the release of their allotments, as well as obligating these funds since the 2017 appropriations are only valid until December 31 this year.

 

“The significant growth in government disbursements for the month of October is encouraging news in view of our expansionary fiscal policy,” said Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. “The DBM, in coordination with the implementing agencies, will continue to monitor and improve spending performance.”

 

 

“We expect government disbursements to ramp up further in the last two months of the year, especially with the one-year validity of the 2017 appropriations,” he added. “The government is committed in its full-year disbursement target of P2.909 trillion,” the DBM Secretary concluded.

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