Aquino gov't boosts infra spending for inclusive growth
MANILA, Philippines – The Aquino administration is boosting spending for economic services, mainly infrastructure, in line with its goal of achieving sustained and inclusive economic growth.
The government allocated P593.1 billion of the P2.265-trillion 2014 national budget for economic services, 16.5% higher than the P509.19 billion appropriated for the same purpose in 2013.
Bulk of this will go to infrastructure, including roads and bridges, airports, rail systems, and irrigation projects.
All these projects are part of the Philippine Development Plan 2011 to 2016, which is now in full swing. The plan is the government's blueprint for ensuring the country's growth will be rapid and inclusive.
“We plan to spend P404.3 billion or 3.1% of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) for infrastructure development this year, a 37.2% increase from last year’s spending level,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement. “We will likewise broaden these investments over the next two years, so that infrastructure spending will corner 5.1% of the country's GDP by 2016.”
The Philippines grew by a better-than-expected 7.2% in 2013, the fastest in Asia after China. The country needs to sustain this growth to create quality jobs and reduce poverty incidence.
Here's the breakdown of economic services budget per department:
- Department of Public Works and Highways - P219.9 billion for the design, construction and maintenance of national roads, bridges, flood control systems, and various calamity-related reconstruction projects, as well as for Public-Private Partnership projects.
- Department of Transportation and Communications — P48.89 billion for the country’s international airports, including the Bicol, Puerto Princesa, Bohol (Panglao), and Laguindingan international airports. Mass transport systems will also be upgraded through the LRT Line 1 South and North Extension projects, as well as the LRT Line 2 East Extension project.
- Department of Agriculture - P76.9 billion for the modernization of the agriculture sector. Projects include irrigation systems, farm-to-market roads, fishports, post-harvest facilities, agro-industry modernization credit and financing programs, farmer-fisher folk marketing assistance interventions, and various capability building activities nationwide.
- Department of Tourism - P1.71 billion for tourism promotion.
- Department of Energy - P139 million for the Household Electrification Program in off-grid areas.
- Department of Trade and Industry - P770 million for the establishment of 827 shared service facilities that will benefit 13,381 micro, small and medium enterprises.