Expenditures likely grew 34.6% in Sept.

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    The national government’s expenditures grew by 34.6 percent in September, with strong spending fueled by subsidies to government-owned and – controlled corporations (GOCCs) and the implementation of the catch-up plan.

    Sharon Almanza, deputy treasurer, said in a press briefing in Manila Wednesday, preliminary data indicates a 34.6 percent increase year-on-year for September,”

    “It’s mostly driven by subsidy to GOCCs and then higher spending by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and DepEd (Department of Education),” Almanza added.

    Government data showed expenditures in September last year totaled to P298.598 billion.

    With a growth of 34.6 percent, expenditures for September 2019 is at P401.912 billion.

    Asked if this means the catch-up plan is working, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez in the same press briefing said, “so far the weather has been okay. So it’s picking up.”

    Almanza said primary expenditures, which is net of interest payments, grew by 34.9 percent. At P265.923 billion in September last year, primary expenditures last month amounted to P358.73 billion.

    The estimates bring the end-September expenditure figure to P2.614 trillion, 5.02 percent up from the P2.489 trillion recorded in the same period a year ago.

    However, Almanza said the 9-month figure is still below program.

    “Around 6.7 percent, (that is) the difference between actual and program, from January to September,” Almanza said.

    She noted a huge difference between actual spending and program in the first half of the year. The delayed passage of the 2019 budget had an adverse effect on the government’s planned expenditures, as well as on economic growth.

    “Expenditure should grow by 30 percent during the last four months, to attain our target,” said Gil Beltran, DOF undersecretary.