MANILA - Government disbursements grew 13.9 percent in August, underscoring the administration's efforts to solve underspending, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.
State spending reached P201.6 billion in August from P177 billion during the same period last year. This brought spending in the first 8 months of the year to P1.78 trillion, up 9.8 percent from the comparable period in 2016, data from the Department of Budget and Management showed.
Underspending among concerns raised by businessmen who met with the Philippine economic team in the US last week, Diokno said.
"This administration is pushing for more efficient public service delivery. We are committed to address underspending," he told reporters.
"As our President puts it to the Cabinet members, use your budget or lose it. Meaning, use your budget or lose your jobs," he said.
Projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways, including road repairs and flood control, helped boost spending in August, the DBM said in a statement.
Diokno said the DBM was optimistic it would meet its P2.9-trillion spending target for the full year.