₱3.6 trillion of national budget disbursed as of November - DBM

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 12) — Almost all of the ₱3.767 trillion 2018 national budget have been handed over to the government agencies they were allotted to, according to the latest data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In a statement, the DBM reported that it has already released ₱3.633 trillion of the 2018 budget as of November 30.

"Besides continuing appropriations from Republic Act 10924 or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 amounting to ₱3.05 billion, unprogrammed appropriations worth ₱12.32 billion were also included in the additional release," the DBM said in a statement.

These unprogrammed appropriations include funds to support foreign assisted-projects, funds in support of infrastructure and social programs, and general fund adjustments.

Automatic appropriations worth ₱3.89 billion were also a part of the released funds, which were used for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), grants, donations, and other purposes.

In a separate statement, the DBM noted that spending in October this year was more than what was spent last year.

The government spent ₱306.6 billion in October, ₱79.8 billion or 35.2 percent more than what it spent for the same month last year, driven by the administration's aggressive infrastructure program.

"We are glad to report that government spending has continued its strong outturn in the month of October, driven by our huge investments on social services and Build Build Build," said Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno in a statement, adding that the government did not underspend in 2018.

The government spent ₱94.4 billion on infrastructure and capital outlay programs in October, 83.4 percent more than what it spent for the same period last month.

This went to infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health, State Universities and Colleges, Department of Education, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

Meanwhile, ₱P64.5 billion was spent in October for maintenance and other operating expenses.

Diokno is confident that the government can keep up its spending momentum, which would translate into projects that would benefit the Filipino people.

"Looking ahead, the public sector will continue to buoy the Philippine economy. Faster and more targeted spending will translate to wider roads and better mass transport systems, more accessible education and health services, and overall better standards of living for our people," Diokno said.