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Public Works and Highways (DPWH) only spent P162.9 billion out of its P592.7-billion allotment for 2021.

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The two agencies in charge of rolling out big-ticket infrastructure projects have not been spending their respective 2021 budgets fast enough, but Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua expects the pace to pick up with more targeted lockdowns now in place.




According to inquirer.net, in a report last week, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) noted that from January to June, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) spent P162.9 billion out of its P592.7-billion allotment for 2021.


The DPWH’s disbursement rate in the first half was 36.6 percent, slower than the 37.8 percent recorded during the same six-month period last year.


The amount obligated or awarded with contracts to implement projects by the DPWH as of end-June was P444.5 billion or 75 percent of its full-year budget, an improvement from the 67.7-percent obligation rate a year ago.


The obligation rate was the share of year-to-date obligations to total allotments, while the disbursement rate reflected the amount already spent to those contracted out. The DBCC report also showed that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) disbursed just P14 billion out of its P76.5-billion 2021 budget as of June, while obligating P42.3 billion.


In 2020, the DOTr obligated P20.3 billion and spent P13.1 billion out of its P85.5-billion budget in the first half.


As such, the DOTr’s first-half obligation rate improved to 55.3 percent this year from 23.8 percent last year, but its disbursement rate fell to 33.1 percent in 2021 compared to 64.4 percent in 2020.


“A very low disbursement performance was observed during the first half of the year, which is 31.3-percentage points lower year-on-year,” the DBCC said.


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