End-April public infra spending inched up to P332B

Total spending on infrastructure grew 3.3 percent to P331.9 billion as of end-April, despite the election ban on new projects ahead of the concluded May 9 elections.

In a report on Monday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said infrastructure disbursements of the national government, local governments, as well as state-run corporations rose from P321.2 billion in the first four months of last year.

The national government’s expenditures on infrastructure and other capital outlays alone inched up 0.3 percent to P254.1 billion during the January-to-April period from P253.4 billion a year ago.

For April, the national government’s infrastructure spending increased 9.7 percent year-on-year to P63.8 billion, although the amount fell 36.3 percent month-on-month as disbursements in March hit P100.2 billion.

The DBM mainly attributed the year-on-year rise in April’s infrastructure investments to “the settlement of accounts payables of the Department of Agriculture for the procurement of farm equipment and machineries under the rice competitiveness enhancement fund and the Department of Education for its basic education facilities.”

“The implementation of infrastructure programs of the Department of Public Works and Highways amid the lower COVID-19 alert level systems also contributed to the higher infrastructure expenditures for the month,” the DBM added, referring to the less stringent pandemic restrictions that reopened more economic activities.

The government plans to spend a bigger P1.19 trillion on infrastructure development this year, equivalent to 5.5 percent of gross domestic product. INQ

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