For the month of June, national government spending posted an impressive 22.6 percent growth rate (compared to June 2016), the highest increase so far in FY 2017. This places disbursements at about P1.331 trillion for the first semester, with a minimal shortfall of 0.4 percent vis-a-vis the programmed P1.337 trillion disbursements. This also raises national government spending by 9 percent for the first semester year-on-year.
The accelerated spending in June is attributed to the robust growth in Current Operating Expenditures and Capital Outlays, which increased by 18.4 percent and 34.9 percent respectively. Substantial transfers to government corporations, higher personnel expenditures, and faster utilization of cash allocations by line agencies (typically observed in the third month of the quarter) all buoyed spending in the said time period. In particular, some of the major expenses that contributed to the growth in spending are the following:
- Subsidies to government corporations reached P32.3 billion (a 101.3 percent increase year-on-year), owing largely to the P12 billion budgetary support to the NHA as payment for its completed housing projects to support informal settler families and calamity victims; P9.3 billion to the PHIC for the health insurance premiums of senior citizens; and P5.7 billion to NIA for its completed irrigation projects.
- Personnel services amounted to P67.1 billion (13.9 percent higher year-on-year) to cover the pension requirements, retirement and terminal leave benefits of employees mostly in the DILG, DND; and the creation and filling of positions in the DepED, DPWH, SUCs, among other agencies.
- Infrastructure and other capital outlays reached P51.9 billion (11.4 percent higher year-on-year) due to the implementation of road projects by the DPWH; payments for completed irrigation projects by the NIA; and some capital outlay projects of SUCs for the purchase, construction and renovation of equipment and facilities
The spending data in June 2017 is a testament to the prudent reforms implemented by the DBM as well as the improved budget utilization of line agencies. “Government spending for the year started a little slow as expected. Line agencies were still adjusting with the new administration, and they were easing into their programs and projects under the 2017 Budget,” said DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno. “However, as the agencies continue to improve in their performance, government spending is picking up with actual disbursements in the first semester of FY 2017 practically mirroring the program – the variance is minimal at P5.9 billion or 0.4 percent,” he added.
Noteworthy is the surge in infrastructure spending as infrastructure and other capital outlays increased by 11.4 percent in June. “This is consistent with the Build, Build, Build program of the Duterte Administration, which will usher in the Golden Age of Infrastructure in the Philippines,” said the Budget Secretary. This puts infrastructure disbursements at P249.1 billion for the first half of the year, 5.3 percent above the targeted disbursements of P236.6 billion for the said time period.
“It is encouraging news that we are on track with our disbursement program. The DBM and the line agencies will continue to monitor and coordinate in our efforts to put an end to underspending so we can realize our disbursement target for the year,” Secretary Diokno elaborated.
For FY 2017, disbursements are projected to reach P2.909 trillion, equivalent to 18.3 percent of GDP.
The full report on the National Government Disbursement Performance for June 2017 can be accessed through: http://www.dbm.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/DBCC/2017/Highlights%20of%20NG%20Disbursements_as%20of%20June%202017_for%20posting.pdf.
For more information on the Department of Budget and Management, visit www.dbm.gov.ph.