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Disbursements in the third quarter reached P683.7 billion, up by nearly P45.0 billion or 7.0 percent from the level for the same period in 2016 reflecting huge investments in infrastructure and human capital development.

Infrastructure and other capital outlays reached P142.1 billion in Q3, posting a 15.4% growth year-on-year. The growth is faster when compared to the 12.2 percent and 5.9 percent expansion recorded in Q1 and Q2, respectively, as a result of faster project implementation by the DPWH. Meanwhile, maintenance expenditures amounted to P117.2 billion, increasing by 8.2% or P8.9 billion, on account of higher spending for education, health and social protection programs. The growth of maintenance spending sustains the significant rebound made in Q2 with a 5.1% increase from a 2.2% contraction in Q1 this year.

Year to date disbursements stand at P 2.015trillion, P 154.1 billion or 8.3% more than the level for the same period in 2016. The growth is credited to higher personnel services expense, huge infrastructure and other capital spending, and substantial transfers to local government units.

However, disbursements were lower when compared to the P801.1 billion program for the third quarter by P117.4 billion or 14.7%. This is mainly on account of the lower-than-expected personnel services expenditures for the period; timing for the release of subsidy and partial billings for some programs; postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan and Barangay elections; and savings in interest payments, and net lending due to repayment from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.

As of date, spending fell short of the P2.138trillion program by P123.3 billion or 5.8 percent. Savings in interest payments and minimal availment for tax subsidies and net lending accounted for P45.4 billion or about 37.0 percent of the underspending for the period.It should be noted that 2016 is an election year and normally disbursements are higher during this period.

On the other hand, infrastructure and other capital spending exceeded the P374.4 billion program for the first nine months of the year by P16.8 billion or 4.5%, cutting down the underspending recorded in the other expense items.

“We will continue to exert our best efforts to reach our full­year target of P2.909 trillion,” DBM Secretary Benjamin Dioknosaid.

Disbursements are expected to pick up in the fourth quarter anticipating further increases in infrastructure and other capital outlays; maintenance expenditures from operating expenses of the DepEd and the DSWD; and personnel services, in view of the release of the year-end bonus and cash gift, pension and retirement benefits, as well as Performance-Based Bonus for some agencies whose validation are currently ongoing.

To read the full report on National Government Disbursement Performance as of September 2017, go to: http://www.dbm.gov.ph/?page_id=19909

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