Philippines: Infrastructure outlay up in October

STATE infrastructure and capital outlays increased in October due to the public works projects around the country, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

The DBM’s latest disbursement report showed that infrastructure and capital outlays reached P60.8 billion during the month, up by 6.7 percent from the P57.1 billion in the same month last year.

It was however lower than the P71.2 billion recorded in September this year.

The DBM attributed the report to the implementation of various infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) such as the construction, widening, improvement, retrofitting/strengthening, maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of access, bypass, and diversion roads, bridges, flood mitigation structures and drainage systems.

The DBM said the higher spending during the month was also due to the construction of multi-purpose buildings.

“The direct payments made by development partners for the various foreign-assisted road network and flood control projects of the DPWH and the foreign-assisted rail transport sector projects of the DOTr (Department of Transportation) also contributed to the said increase,” it said.

For the first 10 months of the year, infrastructure and capital spending amounted to P702.4 billion, higher by 38.1 percent from the P508.5 billion in 2020.

The increase was due to the implementation of various infrastructure projects of the DPWH nationwide, and capital outlays of various departments such as the aviation transport infrastructure projects of the DOTr and the Revised AFP Modernization Program of the Department of National Defense.

The DBM meanwhile reported that total national government disbursements as of end-October amounted to P3.6 trillion, or 11.5 percent higher than the P3.3 trillion last year mainly driven by the higher spending in infrastructure and capital outlays. The other drivers of spending growth included personnel services expenditures (P79.8 billion), transfers to LGUs (P55.1 billion), equity (P45.5 billion), interest payments (P35.8 billion), and tax expenditure subsidy (P10.9 billion).

In an outlook, the DBM said that based on the allotment releases report as of end-October 2021, only P115.6 billion or 2.6 percent of the P4.5 trillion obligation program for the year remains to be released.

“This is composed largely of some agency specific budget items such as the various infrastructure projects under the DPWH and the DOTr, and PS requirements of the Department of Education, Department of National Defense, and the Philippine National Police, as well as some Special Purpose Funds such as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund, subsidy contribution to government corporations, the special shares of LGUs in the proceeds of national taxes, Pension and Gratuity Fund, and Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund,” it said.

Source: https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/12/24/business/top-business/infrastructure-outlay-up-in-october/1827038