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Infrastructure spending below 2013 target

The Philippine government likely missed its infrastructure spending target last year by 12 percent, data from the interagency Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) showed.

Amid a plan to raise spending for infrastructure to 5.2 percent by 2016, the DBCC estimated that the ratio between expenditures and gross domestic product (GDP) likely settled at 2.2 percent, or lower against the 2.5 percent target.

The government’s 2013 infrastructure-to-GDP ratio, which includes the national government, state-owned corporations and local government units (LGUs), likely matched the previous year’s 2.2 percent, DBCC data revealed.

In nominal terms, the Philippine government’s total infrastructure spending was estimated to amount to P256.2 billion last year, or lower compared with the P291.2-billion goal.

In 2013, infrastructure spending of the national government was estimated to stand at 1.7 percent of GDP, equivalent to P198 billion, which is lower compared with the target of 1.9 percent or P221.2 billion.

Meanwhile, contribution of government-owned and controlled-corporations (GOCCs) to infrastructure outlays is expected to amount P11.6 billion, or 0.1 percent of the country’s GDP, which is below the 0.3 percent target (P34.8 billion).

LGUs, on the other hand, is seen to surpass the P34.9 billion infrastructure spending goal in 2013  —  equivalent to 0.3 percent of GDP —  by 33.5 percent to P46.6 billion or 0.4 percent of the country’s economy.

Despite a lower than programmed infrastructure spending in 2013, the DBCC raised the expenditure ceiling for this year to 3.5 percent of GDP, equivalent to P360 billion to P420 billion.

Socioeconomic Secretary Arsenio Balisacan explained the government needed to expand the infrastructure budget for this year to support the P90.6-billion rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in central Philippines that was struck by the recent natural calamities.