Underspending persists: Gov’t spends 3% below target in 2017
Spending improved but still settled below target.
The Philippine government spent P2.82 trillion in 2017, rising by 11 percent from P2.55 trillion a year ago, according to the Bureau of the Treasury.
This, however, is still 3 percent short from the P2.91 trillion which the Duterte administration eyed to spend for the entire year.
Revenues also posted a 13 percent increase to P2.47 trillion versus P2.2 trillion in 2016. This left a budget deficit of P350.6 billion for 2017, settling at 2.2 percent of gross domestic product.
The government attributed the narrow deficit to the “combined effects of stronger than programmed receipts but lower expenditures.”
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said he will not tolerate underspending, but it seems it’s a problem that’s easier said than done.