File photo / Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – The government's infrastructure spending in June jumped 62.7% year-on-year due to large releases for the aircraft acquisition of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as well as increased disbursements for projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The Department of Budget and Management said on Wednesday, August 20, that the government spent P24.4 billion ($555.75 million*) for infrastructure and capital outlays in June, higher than the P15 billion ($341.71 million) spent a year ago.
The DBM said that the spike in infrastructure disbursements was due largely to the release of P4.9 billion ($11.63 million) for the Aircraft Acquisition Project under the Revised AFP Modernization Program.
The rollout of key infrastructure projects under DPWH also resulted in the higher level of spending for the month.
"Spending in June certainly sped up, with major implementing agencies picking up the slack and rolling out their projects," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
"These infrastructure projects actually open up job opportunities, helping us bring immediate- and long-term benefits to communities around the country," Abad added.
Subsidies to government-owned or –controlled corporations (GOCCs) also posted an increase in June. Disbursements grew nearly six-fold to reach P46.3 billion ($1.06 billion), versus P7 billion ($159.66 million) in June 2013.
The DBM said that the increase in subsidies was due mostly to disbursements made for various socio-economic development services under GOCCs, including the premium subsidies of indigent families, the resettlement of informal settler families from high-risk areas, and nationwide electrification projects.
Disbursements for personnel services rose 8.5% year-on-year to P49 billion ($1.12 billion), mainly on the back of fund releases for the retirement incentives of rationalized personnel under the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Meanwhile, Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures went up 20.2% to P29.8 billion ($679.37 million), on account of higher operational cost requirements for the implementation of various programs. These include the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and post-Yolanda aid.
Earlier, the national government reported that it registered a budget deficit of P62.49 billion ($1.42 billion) in June after two consecutive months of surpluses brought about by underspending. – Rappler.com
*($1 = P43.86)