Gov’t sets P3.8-T disbursements for 2019

By Kris Crismundo

July 2, 2018, 3:11 pm

MANILA -- The Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) announced on Monday that the government’s disbursement program next year is at PHP3.8 trillion and will be expanded to PHP5.362 trillion in 2022.

In a press conference following the 173rd DBCC Meeting, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said PHP3.757 trillion of the total disbursements for 2019 will be cash-based, as the government will be shifting from obligations-based budgeting for the next fiscal year.

“The shift to cash-based budgeting is projected to enhance the efficiency of national government disbursements,” said Diokno.

The DBM chief said the PHP3.757-trillion proposed national budget will be submitted to the Congress this month during President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

He mentioned that the national budget for next year is equivalent to 19.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Although the proposed budget for 2019 is lower than the PHP3.8-trillion approved budget this year, Diokno explained that the cash-based appropriation is still by 18.3 percent compared to the cash-based program in 2018.

Moreover, the DBCC will be proposing to the Chief Executive to hike the budget deficit next year to 3.2 percent of GDP from the 3 percent it had projected earlier.

“The planned deficit is set at PHP624 billion for 2019 up to PHP774.3 billion in 2022,” Diokno said. “The medium-term financing program will continue to favor domestic borrowings, following a 65-35 [percent] mix in 2018, and a 75-25 mix from 2019 to 2022.”

Diokno noted that government infrastructure programs and investments in human capital development are gaining momentum.

He added that the government will ensure that these programs will not be in disadvantage because of lack of funding.

“We certainly want to accelerate the Build Build Build program and also we are accelerating the investment in education and investment in social services including health,” Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III echoed.

Dominguez said the government’s borrowing needs to support its disbursement program next year will depend on the success of borrowing programs this year.

He mentioned that the Samurai bonds set to be offered this second half of the year will be a prepositioning for government funds.

In the first half of 2018, the national government issued USD2-billion 10-year global funds and 1.46-billion renminbi Panda bonds. (PNA)