Budget utilization hits 98% year to date

Budget utilization hits 98% year to date

THE GOVERNMENT has spent 98% of its budget in the year to date, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said.

“For our budget this year, we have spent roughly 98%,” Ms. Pangandaman said during the Philippine Economic Briefing in Iloilo on Monday.

The DBM had announced a budget release rate as of the end of November of 97.6%, equivalent to P5.406 trillion out of the P5.537-trillion adjusted spending plan this year, leaving P131.25 billion in remaining funds.

In a separate report, the DBM said the cash utilization rate of government agencies hit 94% in the first 10 months.

The National Government (NG), local governments and state-owned companies used P3.39 trillion of the P3.6 trillion worth of notices of cash allocation issued as of the end of October.

“If you’ll notice during the past quarter, our NG spending is not what we expected; thus, our gross domestic product (GDP) growth was not that high in the past quarter,” Ms. Pangandaman said.

She said that agencies were able to expedite spending after they were ordered to draft “catch-up plans” to address the low budget utilization in the first half.

Government spending contracted 7.1% in the second quarter, which brought GDP in the April-June period to a weaker-than-expected 4.3%. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson