Govt allots P1.836 trillion for infrastructure projects

By Estrella Torres, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jan 16 2014 08:05 AM | Updated as of Jan 16 2014 04:05 PM

MANILA - The overnment plans to speed up spending on infrastructure to reach P1.836 trillion in the next three years to sustain high economic growth, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

He said the government’s involvement in public-private partnerships (PPP) reached “greater acceleration” in the latter part of 2013, with a total of P275 billion for the whole year, which is 2.75 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Abad, in an interview with reporters on Tuesday night, said the government would spend P400 billion in infrastructure this year, which is 3 percent of GDP.

Most of the infrastructure projects will involve PPP projects, he said.

By 2015 the government will allocate a total of P600 billion, or a total of 4 percent of GDP.

Government spending in infrastructure is expected to further reach P836 billion in 2016, which is 5 percent of the GDP.

The Department of Budget and Management, meanwhile, launched its Cashless Purchase Card program that aims to make the financial transactions of all government agencies through electronic means instead of the usual cash or checks.

The card was launched the opening of the three day Good Governance Summit in Manila.

“The Cashless Card will function in much the same manner as a corporate credit card,” said Abad. The government will start the program with three agencies - DBM, Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

He said all government agencies are expected to use the cashless purchase card by March this year.

In another development, Abad said resiliency would be given prime consideration in the building of infrastructures amid the series of natural disasters that hit the country last year.

Abad said resiliency would be factored in as the government spends on the rehabilitation of calamity-stricken provinces.

He said the funds would not be only focused on rehabilitating houses and infrastructures in calamity-hit areas but more on changes in the engineering designs and standards.