Govt infra spending up 40.8% in February

Christian B. Bautista
(UPDATED) The increase was due to more public works spending before the election ban kicked in

INFRASTRUCTURE. The government hiked infrastructure spending by 40.8% in February. Photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Government spending on infrastructure and other capital outlays jumped 40.8% in February 2013 to P32.3 billion from P23 billion during the same month a year ago. 

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the increase was due to more spending implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The DPWH’s total spending soared 114.5% to P12 billion in February. The agency spent P5.6 billion during the same month of 2012.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson had said they fasttracked many road projects to beat the election ban and complete the bidding process for all its projects by March.

As of end-February, Singson said DPWH has already bid out more than 3,179 projects, or 80% of its target for 2013. The bulk of the projects are located in districts and are below P50 million per project.

Bureaucracy

The DBM also reported higher spending on maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and personnel services (PS) in February. The government’s MOOE jumped 40.5% to P47 billion. The DBM attributed the increase to the social service programs such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Conditional Cash Transfer.   

The government’s PS spending, on the other hand, jumped 13.6% to P84.5 billion from P74.4 billion. The budget department attributed this to new positions and more claims for retirement and terminal leave benefits.

“As early as the beginning of the year, agencies already have the authority to utilize their budgets for the early implementation of their programs and projects,” said Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad.

He added that the increased spending was due to the enactment of the national budget and the formation of account management teams in government agencies. – Rappler.com