MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senate President Franklin Drilon on Tuesday urged economic managers to accelerate government spending, noting the “chilling effect” of the Supreme Court’s decision declaring parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.
During Tuesday’s hearing on the proposed 2015 national budget, Drilon noted that the government’s expenditures “have (gone) down tremendously” from 10 percent during the first quarter of 2013 to 2 percent during the same period this year.
“…You can’t discount the fact that the bureaucracy is now concerned about spending given the decision of the Supreme Court on the DAP,” he said.
“Takot na takot ngayon ang byurukrasya at baka masampahan sila ng kaso because of the decision on the DAP. You know whether you like it or not, the DAP had a chilling effect on the government expenditures program.”
“The challenge therefore to our economic managers should be how to comply with the final decision of the Supreme Court but at the same time accelerate government spending for the next three quarters or two …” Drilon said.
“We have enough revenues but we’re not spending well. In fact, our programmed budget deficit is way below our target,” he added.
But Budget Secretary Florencio Abad contradicted Drilon’s observation, citing a 44 percent estimated growth in the government expenditures on the second quarter of the year.
“We’re actually improving on that end Mr. Chairman. The figures in June will show a 44 percent increase and that has been brought mainly by finally the billings from the PhilHealth services (that) should come in,” Abad said.
The PhilHealth subsidies, he said, would amount to P36 billion. (MNS)