Avoid underspending, gov’t agencies urged

SENATOR Sonny Angara urged agencies not underspend and instead disburse and utilize their budgets for 2019 to make up for the delays in the implementation and completion of key infrastructure and social projects and to achieve the growth target this year.

The call is in response to the Department of Budget and Management’s statement that almost 96 percent of the P3.662 trillion national budget for 2019 has been released as of end-September.

The country’s economic managers have set a growth target of six to seven percent this year but because of the late budget approval and delays in project implementation there is a possibility that even the lower end of the target would be missed.

Angara’s call is for agencies of government to exert all efforts to “provide the service that our people deserve” by catching up on spending even though there are just two months left in the year.

“It’s not just infrastructure but also on the delivery of social services that have faced delays. For the poor families, every bit of help they can get from the government means a lot to them and goes a long way to making ends meet. We should do everything to make sure our people don’t feel shortchanged by the government,” said Angara, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

According to the Department of Finance, infrastructure spending has already reached 92 percent of the full-year target as of end-September while total disbursements have hit 98 percent of the target.

to see that we are finally addressing the problem of underspending, which has plagued us since the previous administration. But we should always strive to hit our targets, especially when it comes to spending on infrastructure,” Angara said.

“Spending on infrastructure creates jobs and has a cascading effect across various industries, all of which spurs economic growth,” Angara added.