Abad says faster disbursements in 2nd half

Posted at 07/27/2012 4:46 PM | Updated as of 07/27/2012 5:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) expressed confidence the government will improve its budget disbursements this year, compared to the previous year.

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the government is addressing the "bottlenecks" in disbursing funds for infrastructure projects.

"They've gotten hefty increases in their allocation while we're continuing to clear bottlenecks, which are still there, but there has been great improvement because the disbursement gap this semester is about on the average 10.2%," he said.

In 2011, the government's disbursement gap was at 16.2%.

"About P45.5 billion in capital outlay expenditures was already been released but currently undergoing the procurement process. We're confident that by the third quarter a significant portion of that will be disbursed," Abad said.

Spending in the second quarter of 2012 was 1.5% better than the first quarter, the budget chief said.

"The momentum continues to be there, of course we will continue to further improve the disbursements, but usually its the second semester where you generate even more momentum, so we're confident that in the second semester, we can further improve the draw-down on budget,” Abad said.

"Because we've introduced both institutional and structural changes in the way disbursements are being made in government, which allows for greater improvement in disbursements, but even more important less leakages and more quality spending."

Earlier, Abad said the government was considering different ways to accelerate disbursements, such as realigning unobligated allotments of agencies to faster-moving programs and projects. The DBM and key implementing agencies are also working to identify and to find solutions for implementation bottlenecks.