Government Infra Spending Decreases in November
Because lockdown restrictions have interfered with construction work, state spending decreased for the fifth straight month last November.
Data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) revealed that infrastructure went below 50% to P40.3 billion last November from P80.9 billion a year ago. Infrastructure spending also went down, as compared with the P57 billion spent in October. This was the fifth straight month of the decline.
For the Philippine economy to recover, a think tank said that the government should increase spending this year.
In a report, the DBM said, “Infrastructure and other capital outlays were down to P40.3 billion due to the various delays caused by the imposition of community quarantine measures to contain the further spread of the COVID-19 virus in early 2020, as well as the one-time expense in 2019 for the building constructions of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
In the 11-month period, spending on infrastructure went down to 22% year-on-year to P548.8 billion - due to the pandemic and budget cuts done this year. Earlier, the government redirected some funds for support to its rescue programs.
Overall capital outlays increased to P727.9 billion during the period, 14% year-on-year. This was 88% of the P825-billion infrastructure spending target for the full year.
The Budget department hopes that the line departments to have reached spending in December, especially the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
It said, “Disbursements are expected to recover from the substantial underspending recorded as of end-September 2020 (7.2% below the program for the period), and close at P4.233 trillion.”