Philippines: PHP1tr in public works needed to hit GDP goal

  • The government needs to spend PHP1tr on infrastructure if it is to meet a growth target of 6% in 2019, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said, as he detailed “catch-up” measures to facilitate spending delayed by the stalled 2019 budget.
  • In a hearing, Mr. Dominguez told the Senate finance committee, “To enable us to hit a GDP growth rate above 6% in 2019, national government needs to ramp up its spending. In 2019, national government disbursements are targeted to reach PHP3.774tr, equivalent to 19.6% of GDP. This is 10.7% higher than the actual disbursement in 2018. Meanwhile, total infrastructure disbursements would have to reach PHP1tr, equivalent to 5.2% of GDP, with the national government accounting for PHP808.7bn of targeted infrastructure spending.”
  • Mr. Dominguez added that an on-time budget would have added at least a percentage point to 1Q19 GDP growth, to about 6.6%, and possibly as high as 7.2%.
  • Speaking to reporters following the hearing, Mr. Dominguez added that he would like to lay the groundwork for more agriculture growth through increased funding for research and amendments to the Local Government Code.
  • In addition, Mr. Dominguez said the Department of Agriculture (DA) should ensure effective implementation of its programs for farmers.

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