Duterte Admin to End PNoy Admin’s ‘Chronic Underspending’

Duterte Admin to End PNoy Admin’s ‘Chronic Underspending’

- in Economy, News, Philippines
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno talks to reporters at the sidelines of the “Sulong Pilipinas” economic consultation workshop at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City. Photo by Edwin G. Espejo

DAVAO CITY (June 20, 2016) — The Duterte administration will increase infrastructure spending to 5 to 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), ending the “chronic underspending” of the Aquino administration.

“We are confident that public infrastructure will get an allocation of around P800 billion to P1 trillion of the P3.5 trillion budget,” incoming Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno told reporters at a press conference on the first day of the two-day consultative workshop with the business community at the SMX Convention Center here today.

Diokno said the incoming administration has no plan of continuing some of the Aquino administration’s tracks, including low public expenditure on the development of infrastructure projects around the country.

“We need to make sure not to underspend on small and medium scale projects,” he said.

Diokno said the Duterte administration will prioritize small projects like irrigation facilities, small water impounding facilities, farm-to-market roads, and school buildings.

“These projects will be constructed simultaneously, not sequentially,” he said.

Diokno also said government infrastructure projects will be brought to areas outside Metro Manila, particularly in secondary municipalities.

He said this will facilitate growth in the rural areas and help achieve the targeted inclusive growth in the countryside.

Diokno said the Department of Finance will form a monitoring team to track the implementation of the projects of the different national agencies.

“We will make sure these agencies will not ask for the budget for the projects they can’t implement,” he said.

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