No underspending in 2020: Malacañang

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    Malacanang expects the infrastructure spending in December to have picked up from previous months in 2020 , presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.

    Roque, in a virtual briefing, said there was a delay in the implementation and construction activities last year due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic but there was no underspending.

    He added based on the data of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the total actual infrastructure disbursements from January to November 2020 exceeded the infrastructure program level by 4 percent or P727.9 billion. The programmed infrastructure spending was supposed to total to P699.2 billion.

    “So we also expect the spending for December 2020 will accelerate compared to the earlier months since line departments try to fast track the implementation of their programs and settle their outstanding payables before the end of the year,” he said.

    Roque added the Department Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) have expedited the delayed programs and data on the December activities have yet to be completed.

    The Department of Budget and Management earlier reported infrastructure and other capital outlays spending dropped by 50 percent to P40.3 billion in November from P80.9 billion a year ago while the total infrastructure spending in November was also 29.4 percent lower than the P54 billion sent in October.