Press Release
November 13, 2019

Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

SFMD: The issue is the underspending and the fact that only nine projects have been started is just a manifestation of this underlying problem. Twenty percent of our GDP is dependent on government spending. Therefore, it is important that the budgeted expenditures should be disbursed, because that goes into our GDP, creates employment. In this publication of DBM, they recognized that underspedning is a problem. They recognized it as a challenge that the government has to face. In several instances, they have cited underspending. For example, they said that the country's real GDP slowed down to 5.6% in the first quarter of 2019. The slowdown is largely attributable to government underspending in the first quarter.

In several other pages, it is underspending that is cited as a reason why we are not meeting our program or target. The COA, in its report, stated that the DPWH has a disbursement rate of 34.1% in 2017 and 39.7% in 2018 and the DOTR has a disbursement rate of 25.6% in 2017 and 23.8% in 2018. What does this mean? For every P100. 00 budget, they are only spending, let's say in the case of DOTR, P25.6. In 2017, they only spent P23.00 out of P100.00. Therefore, the contribution of government spending to our economic growth is not being met, not because there are no funds available but because the fund appropriated is not being spent. It is a simple as that.

Q: Hindi nagawa yung projects?

SFMD: Hindi talaga nagagawa. If the identified project is there and you do not implement it, there is no contribution to the economy.

Q: Bakit daw hindi?

SFMD: Tinatanong ko rin sila. There are many factors they say they meet and among which is the right-of-way problem. We cannot excuses every year. there has to be a program so that we can accelerate our disbursement.

Q: Last night, you raised the issue na dapat mag-set ng target yung mga agencies?

SFMD: One of the suggestions is you set the target.

Q: Do you see something wrong with that, that only after three years they realized that they cannot implement them?

SFMD: I think you can make your own conclusion. Kung tatlong taon na babaguhin mo yung mga proyekto, ibig sabihin ay hindi napag-isipan nang husto yung unang 75 projects.

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