Gov’t approves higher infrastructure budget for 2021 for Build Build Build

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The Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has approved a higher infrastructure spending program for next year to accelerate Build Build Build (BBB) projects.

A P1.131 trillion infrastructure program for 2021 has been set by the agency, which is equivalent to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

This is higher from the updated P775.1 billion (4.6 percent of GDP) infrastructure program for 2020.

Higher infrastructure investments would help generate employment, and contribute 0.9 percentage point to GDP growth by next year, DBM says. This is to alleviate the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“This upward push of the infrastructure program is expected to create some 140,000 to 220,000 additional jobs through direct and indirect employment,” the DBM said.

The government’s infrastructure budget was initially set at P800.6 billion (4.3 percent of GDP), as approved by the DBCC last March 27.

However, DBM Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo said this was slashed to P725.1 billion during the committee’s meeting last May 12. It was then revised again to P775.1 billion based on the updated DBCC approval on May 27.

This change was due to the reallocation of the budget to health and social amelioration programs to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, DBCC has estimated the 2021 cash budget at P4.335 trillion, which is equivalent to 20.2 percent of GDP. This is 3.7 percent more than the P4.18 trillion budget it approved last May 12.

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