A March 5, 2013, press release from the Department of Budget and Management
Sec Abad: Budget, governance reforms critical in fast-tracking disbursements
Citing the implementation of key budget reforms to boost the efficiency and quality of public spending, Secretary of Budget and Management Florencio B. Abad today announced that expenditures in 2012 reached P1.778 trillion, a 14.1-percent increase from P1.558 trillion in 2011.
While disbursements for the whole 2012 were 3.4 percent below the programmed level, it was nonetheless a notable improvement from the nine percent shortfall in 2011. Moreover, Abad pointed out that spending in the last quarter of 2012 surpassed the program by 14 percent or P68.3 billion.
Abad was also pleased to note that the budget deficit levelled off at P242.8 billion or 2.3 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), outperforming the 2.6-percent programmed for 2012.
“Along with the focused acceleration of disbursements in the fourth quarter, the budget reforms we instituted over the last twelve months helped bring expenditures to a strong finish in 2012. For instance, agencies were urged to obligate their releases or risk the realignment of their funds to faster-moving projects. We also established dedicated Account Management Teams (AMTs) in key departments and agencies to help drive the pace of their disbursements,” Abad said.
“Besides the year-on-year increase in government expenditures, we’re seeing a significant expansion in our capacity to drive actual disbursements closer to our programmed levels. This year, we’re intent on deepening the engagement between our AMTs and their respective agencies so our departments can make the most of their allocations and, consequently, facilitate the faster implementation of programs and projects,” Abad said.
Abad further noted that departments and agencies were able to ramp up their absorption of funds, with the utilization rate for Notices of Cash Allocation (NCA) climbing to 96.7 percent in 2012, up by the 91.9 percent NCA utilization level in 2011. This was driven by the faster use of cash allocations in the fourth quarter, which leaped by 107.6 percent year-on-year.
“With the enforcement of the one-year lapse period for all appropriations, we expect to see more vigorous and strategic spending from our departments and agencies. The momentum we set in 2012 sends us on a clear trajectory towards improved expenditures this year, where the Administration’s socio-economic development strategy is fully supported and priority programs and projects are implemented in a timely and efficient manner,” he said.
“This year, we’re investing more in infrastructure development, the agri-fisheries sector, as well as other infrastructure activities for our education and health programs. This will help shore up job generation in the country and ensure that the Administration’s reform efforts translate to rapid, sustainable, and inclusive growth for all Filipinos,” Abad said.
As of end-January this year, the Department of Budget and Management has comprehensively released 91.9 percent of the P977.7 billion in appropriations to departments and agencies for 2013, in line with the Administration’s goal of ramping up expenditure to support inclusive growth.