DBM Sec. Benjamin Diokno assured that government spending will remain prudent, sustainable, and consistent with the Philippines' development objectives, as he spoke in front of an audience of investors, businessmen, and civil servants for the Sulong Pilipinas 2018 forum at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark.
Joined by Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Department of Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, and other key officials, the Budget Secretary discussed the Philippine economy's fiscal performance, strategy, reforms, and outlook.
"We intend to increase the infrastructure budget to 4.7% of GDP in 2019, then ramp it up to as high as 7.0% of GDP in 2022," Secretary Diokno explained as he emphasized this administration's commitment to a massive infrastructure overhaul through the Build Build Build program. These huge investments in public infrastructure are unprecedented in the country's history, as infrastructure spending only averaged a meager 2.6% of GDP for the last 50 years.
"For FY 2017, actual disbursements for infrastructure and other capital outlays outpaced the program by PhP 19.4 Billion, or 3.5%. In total, infrastructure and other capital disbursements reached PhP 568.8 Billion," Sec. Diokno noted.
Sec. Diokno also highlighted the impressive budget utilization performance in 2018. For the first nine months of the year, actual disbursements have already exceeded programmed disbursements by 2.6%. "This may be the first time that actual government expenditures exceeded programmed expenditures: PhP2.49 Trillion versus PhP2.43 Trillion," the Budget Chief emphasized. "The trend in Infrastructure and Other Capital Disbursements is even more impressive. Spending for the first nine months of the year increased by a staggering PhP179.6 Billion, or 45.9%. This is clear proof that the Build Build Build program is firing on all cylinders."
"We at the Department of Budget and Management would like to assure the Filipino people that government spending will be prudent, sustainable, and supportive of economic development," the Budget Chief concluded.