Expenditure program to be met, DOF says

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    The country’s economic team expects the expenditure program for 2019 will be met, despite the delays encountered at the start of the year due to the late passage of the full-year budget, followed by the election ban.

    Carlos Dominguez, Department of Finance (DOF) secretary, said in a press briefing at the DOF office in Manila Wednesday evening the economy is projected to expand at a faster pace over the remaining months of the year amid the implementation of the spending catch up plan.

    “The economy is expected to expand at a higher clip over the remaining months of 2019 as inflation stays within the official target range of two to four percent, and as the government accelerates implementation of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure and human capital development projects to make up for the underspending earlier this year due to the delay in the reenactment of the budget,” Dominguez said, after meeting members of the economic development cluster.

    “We will intensify our efforts to restore last year’s upward momentum in our growth rate,” he added.

    He said the total program disbursements for 2019 is P3.769 trillion.

    “To attain this target, the government needs to disburse P1.14 trillion or 30 percent this fourth quarter. Based on the updates of our main infrastructure agencies, we are confident that we are going to hit our spending target this year,” Dominguez said.

    Dominguez said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is confident it can deliver on its P725-billion disbursement target for the whole of 2019.

    For the first nine months of the year, he said, the agency has disbursed a total of P424.7 billion.

    “DPWH secretary (Mark) Villar assured that the P300.3 billion target for the last quarter is attainable,” Dominguez said.

    Among the main projects that the DPWH expects to inaugurate this year are the Central Luzon Link Express Project Phase One, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, Ciudad de Victoria interchange overpass bridge, and the bypass road in Bulacan.

    Dominguez also said the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) disbursements as of September reached P43.7 billion, and it expects to disburse P51.37 billion in the last quarter.

    Dominguez also expressed hope that the proposed 2020 budget is passed on time.