Gov't spending drops as SC scraps PDAF

By Coco Alcuaz, ANC

Posted at Jan 08 2014 06:21 PM | Updated as of Jan 09 2014 05:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Government spending fell in November, worsening the slowdown that started after the pork barrel controversy exploded.

Spending declined 2 percent as the Supreme Court declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) system unconstitutional.

Spending growth was 22% in July, when the Philippine Daily Inquirer ran its series on PDAF and Janet Lim Napoles, before dropping to single digits in August and September, and zero in October. Budget Secretary Butch Abad didn't reply to mobile phone messages seeking his comment.

The decline increased the chances economic growth will slow further in the fourth quarter when typhoon “Yolanda” hit, destroying crops, farms, roads and other structures, and stoking inflation in prices of food and construction materials.

Inflation climbed to 4.1 percent in December--a 2-year-high--leaving people with less money to spend, which may hurt the economy as well.

For the first 11 months, spending was up just 9 percent and P300 billion short of the 12-month target.