Press Release
May 6, 2012

Drilon urges gov't to spend more

Responding to the first quarter fiscal performance report, Senator Franklin M. Drilon today acknowledged the slightly improved spending in the first quarter of the year, but still encouraged the Aquino administration to do more to accelerate the implementation of vital government projects in order to ramp up the economy.

Drilon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, likewise reminded the government to be more realistic and precise in crafting the country's fiscal targets as it prepares for the 2013 national budget.

He noted that despite the improvement in the first quarter disbursement which reached P394.9 billion - P45.6 billion higher year-on-year - it was still short by P45.7 billion to achieve the P440.6 billion programmed for the quarter.

He recalled the same condition surfaced last year when the government missed its targets not only in the first quarter, but almost throughout the year that resulted to only P197.8 billion deficit in 2011, 34 percent below the programmed deficit of P300 billion.

"Considering that the government is a major player in the market, I urged the national government to look into the root cause of the bottleneck in the disbursement as it has negative effects on the economy," added Drilon.

He also encouraged the government to focus on the infrastructure side in the first semester to take advantage of the good weather condition and to hike the spending, thereby ramping up domestic economic growth.

The Department of Budget and Management reported that infrastructure spending reached only P38.9 billion, P15.7 billion below its target of P54.6 billion, he noted.

"Once it missed on its targets, the government should do the catching up as early as possible, so it would not mount up. The government has to hike on spending over the next months to catch up on the misses it incurred in the first three months," explained Drilon.

He also called the attention of the inter-agency Development Budget Coordinating Committee to carefully analyze the parameters it uses in preparing the budget with the end in view of coming up with more achievable fiscal targets.

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