MANILA – National government disbursements posted a 28.2% increase in the month of October, the highest growth recorded so far in the year, as spending reached P226.9 billion. This brings cumulative disbursements from January to October at P2.241 trillion, a 10% increase year-on-year.
In terms of expense class, Current Operating Expenditures rose by 35.2%, reaching P164.1 billion in October 2017. It was primarily driven by the growth in Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures (MOOE), which grew by 111.0% to reach P40.4 billion. This was on account of the release of cash assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) , social pension and other assistance programs for the victims of natural disasters and calamities. At the same time, expenditures in connection with the relief works and operations of the DSWD for Marawi contributed to the spike in MOOE spending. Personnel Services meanwhile amounted to P60 billion, increasing by 8.8%, due to the higher compensation of civilian personnel and increased allowances of military and uniformed personnel pursuant to EO 201, s. 2016.
On the other hand, Capital Outlays amounted to P60.6 billion in October for a 10.4% year-on-year increase. Infrastructure and Other Capital Outlays comprised the bulk of capital spending reaching P51.5 billion, expanding by 17.8%. The boost in infrastructure spending was primarily due to the public works projects of the DPWH such as road construction and flood control rehabilitation or improvements. The acquisition of transport and other equipment of the DILG-PNP under its Capability Enhancement Program, as well as the payment for various communication, navigational and air traffic management system projects, and civil works for the LRT Lines 1 and 2 extension projects of the DOTr also contributed to the higher infrastructure and other capital spending.
Looking ahead, some P331.2 billion or 9.9 percent of the P3.35 trillion obligation program is still available for release to line agencies sourced from both the agency-specific budgets and Special Purpose Funds. Line agencies have been expediting the requests for the release of their allotments, as well as obligating these funds since the 2017 appropriations are only valid until December 31 this year.
“The significant growth in government disbursements for the month of October is encouraging news in view of our expansionary fiscal policy,” said Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. “The DBM, in coordination with the implementing agencies, will continue to monitor and improve spending performance.”
“We expect government disbursements to ramp up further in the last two months of the year, especially with the one-year validity of the 2017 appropriations,” he added. “The government is committed in its full-year disbursement target of P2.909 trillion,” the DBM Secretary concluded.