INFRASTRUCTURE spending of the national government surged by 42.1 percent year-on-year to P641.5 billion as of the end of the third quarter on the back of faster implementation of projects amid looser community quarantine restrictions.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported on Wednesday that state infrastructure spending from January to September this year was higher than the P451.5 billion in the same period last year.
Compared to the programmed P589.3 billion for the nine-month period this year, the government’s actual infrastructure spending performance was also higher by 8.9 percent.
Infrastructure spending largely drove the expansion of overall government expenditures. Total government spending during the period went up by 11.7 percent to P3.38 trillion from P3.02 trillion in 2020.
The pickup in state infrastructure spending as of end-September this year was attributed to the implementation of various road infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) nationwide, aviation and rail transport foreign-assisted projects of the Department of Transportation—such as the Tacloban, Kalibo, and Bukidnon Airport Projects and the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase I—and projects under the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP) of the Department of National Defense (DND).
For September alone, infrastructure spending grew by 25 percent to P71.2 billion from P56.9 billion in 2020.
For the last quarter of the year, the DBM expects government spending to be continuously driven by infrastructure and other capital outlays.
According to the DBM, there will be a submission of progress billings for completed/partially completed projects which started in the earlier part of the year; school operations and educational assistance programs in line with the opening of classes starting in September; creation/filling of positions and regular operating programs or expenditures of other government agencies.
For 2021, the government has programmed to increase its spending for infrastructure to P1.019 trillion, equivalent to 5.1 percent of the country’s GDP.
Last year, it spent P869.5 billion on infrastructure, or 4.8 percent of the country’s GDP.
The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee also further raised the infrastructure program to P1.29 trillion in 2022. It will then slightly taper off to P1.28 trillion in 2023 following the updated projections for the National Tax Allotment and the block grant to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao before reaching P1.35 trillion in 2024.