Spike in December Pulls 2019 Spending Beyond Target

The government’s catch-up plan for 2019 projects paid off in December, pulling full-year spending to a new record high, Treasury data released Thursday showed.

The government spent 494 billion pesos for the month, a 58 percent surge from the amount released in December 2018, the Bureau of the Treasury said.

The state poured the bulk of the money into infrastructure projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways, social protection programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and benefits paid to government employees. 

The December spike propelled full-year disbursements to a record 3.8 trillion pesos, higher by 11 percent from the previous year. The 2019 releases even surpassed the government’s 3.77-trillion-peso spending target. Expenditures sped up despite the delay in the approval of the 2019 budget.

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