Duterte admin's infra spending in May highest in 6 months

MANILA, Philippines – From a fall in April, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte recorded its fastest infrastructure spending in 6 months last May, as it completed more road projects and bought more military equipment.

Latest data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed infrastructure and other capital expenditures rose by 31.4% in May alone, due to completed road construction, repair, and rehabilitation; flood control infrastructure; and requirements for the purchase of anti-submarine helicopters under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.

This is the government's highest infrastructure spending since November 2016, when it booked a 49.3% surge.

This contributes to the 8.1% jump in infrastructure spending in the 1st 5 months of 2017, amounting to P197.2 billion.

To meet its 1st half program for infrastructure expenditures and capital outlays of P236.6 billion, the government must have spent P39.4 billion for infrastructure in June alone.

Total government expenses

Meanwhile, total government expenditures as of end-May totaled P1.06 trillion, 6% higher than the P1 trillion recorded in the same period in 2016.

The administration will have to spend P276.8 billion in June to meet its spending program of P1.337 trillion for the 1st half of 2017.

In the 2nd half of the year, the government plans to spend a total of P1.572 trillion, of which P801.1 billion is seen to be spent in the 3rd quarter, while the remaining P771.1 billion is expected to be spent during the 4th quarter.

This brings the total disbursement program to P2.909 trillion. (READ: First Metro, UA&P lower Philippine GDP forecast due to slow spending)

"Disbursements are expected to gradually gather speed in the succeeding months. Seasonally, spending usually picks up during the 3rd month of the quarter as line agencies speed up the utilization of their notices of cash allocations before they lapse at the last working day of the quarter," the DBM said in a statement on Thursday, July 6.

"Moreover, agencies are expected to implement catch-up plans or measures to recover from the delays encountered in the earlier months and these could further improve their disbursement levels," it added.

The Duterte administration has earmarked P8.2 trillion for 6 years' time solely to fund its ambitious infrastructure program called Build, Build, Build. – Rappler.com