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DOTC tops list of under-spending agencies, says Sec. Abad

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad means BUSINESS

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications topped the list of agencies that dragged down expenditures in the first quarter of the year, thus causing the government to miss its spending goal for the period.

In a statement, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the DOTC had P12.2 billion in unspent money earmarked for the January to March period.

This was followed by the Departments of Agriculture and of Education, each with P9 billion; the Department of Health, P8 billion; and the Department of Public Works and Highways, P7.7 billion.

“We note that these balances that remain unreleased are mostly lump-sum funds that require special budget requests. By 2013, we will mandate all agencies to flesh-out all their budgets in detail and to eliminate all their lump-sum funds,” Abad said. 

Last Wednesday, the Department of Finance reported that the government's January to March disbursements of P394.9 billion was 10.4 percent below the P440.6-billion programmed for the period.

The Aquino administration earlier vowed to crank up spending on infrastructure and social services to prop up the economy this year and prevent a repeat of last year's slump on account of weak government spending and an export contraction.

 “If we are to pick up spending over the next months, agencies must ensure that they are able to execute key programs and projects within schedule,” Abad said.