Drilon Warns Gov’t. Underspending
Senate President Franklin M. Drilon aired concerns about the drop in government spending in 2014 which, if not addressed, could further be aggravated by the “chilling effect” of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) on the government spending plan.
The Senate leader pointed to signs of looming underspending of the government during the Senate’s hearing on the proposed P2.606 trillion 2015 national budget.
“For the first quarter of 2014, the growth domestic product is only 5.7 percent, which is lower than the 7.7percent growth rate achieved in the same period in 2013,” said Drilon.
“The underspending is also visible in the decline in the government consumption for the first quarter of 2014 which only reached 2 ptercent, way below the 10 percent level during the same period last year,” he added.
Drilon thus issued a challenge to the country’s economic managers: “the challenge now is how to accelerate spending in the remaining months of the year while still complying with the Supreme Court decision on the DAP.”
“The members of the bureaucracy now have apprehension against taking initiatives, because they might face charges stemming from the DAP decision. Whether you like it or not, the SC decision on the DAP had a chilling effect on the government expenditure program,” Drilon pointed out.
He said the Office of the President and the Department of Budget and Management should closely monitor the line agencies to ensure they would implement their programs in a timely manner.
Drilon also committed that the Senate will continue to exercise its oversight functions to make sure proper and prompt government spending is given priority. /MP