Challenge for PNoy: Spend big but follow SC

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2014 07:38 PM | Updated as of Aug 20 2014 03:38 AM

MANILA - Senate President Franklin Drilon on Tuesday expressed concern over the effects of government underspending.

Drilon said public spending only grew by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

He said the challenge for the Aquino administration is to increase spending without violating the Supreme Court decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

"The challenge is how to comply with the Supreme Court and at the same time accelerate the spending pattern," Drilon said.

Budget Secretary Butch Abad, meanwhile, told the Senate finance committee in a budget briefing that the slowdown in spending could be attributed to projects that could no longer be implemented due to typhoon Yolanda.

The typhoon also led to a revalidation of the list of the list of Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and "reclustering" of projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Abad said government has since been catching up with spending which has already grown in the second quarter.

"That's normally the case. Naghahabol naman ang government and I think we should be able to recover and minimize that," Abad later told reporters.