Drilon to Duterte Administration: Aminin n’yo na may underspending!

Senator Franklin Drilon/photo courtesy of DZRH News

Senate  Minority Leader Franklin Drilon in an interview on Wednesday denounced the underspending under the Duterte administration, but obviously the government is in denial of the issue.

The opposition senator even gave a warning against its potential repercussions on our economy as a whole.

“The issue is the underspending and the fact that only nine projects have been started is just a manifestation of this underlying problem, 20 percent of our GDP is dependent on government spending.” Drilon during an interview.
The senator stressed that “it is important that the budgeted expenditures should be disbursed because that goes into our GDP, creates employment.”
According to a publication of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), “they recognized that underspending is a problem. They recognized it as a challenge that the government has to face. In several instances, they have cited underspending.” Drilon further said.

He added that the DBM can testify that the country’s real GDP slowed down to 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019, is attributed to the government’s underspending in the first quarter.

The DBM report also noted that “it is underspending that is cited as a reason [for] why we are not meeting our program or target,” said Drilon.

While in the COA report, it stated that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has a disbursement rate of 34.1 percent in 2017 and 39.7 percent in 2018, and the Department of Transportation (DOTR) has a disbursement rate of 25.6 percent in 2017 and 23.8 percent in 2018.

“What does this mean? For every P100 budget, they are only spending, let’s say in the case of DOTR, P25.6. In 2017, they only spent P23 out of P100.” Drilon added

Therefore, the contribution of government spending to economic growth is not being met, “not because there are no funds available but because the fund appropriated is not being spent. It is a simple as that.” Drilon stressed.

The officials concerned were asked and was told, “There are many factors they say they meet and among which is the right-of-way problem. We cannot [have] excuses every year; there has to be a program so that we can accelerate our disbursement.” Drilon said.

Source: ABS-CBN

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