Government budget deficit triples in August – Manila Bulletin


The increase in public spending last month forced the national government to increase its budget deficit in the first eight months of the year, to nearly trillion pesos.

Treasury Office

The Treasury Office reported on Thursday, September 23 that the Duterte administration’s budget gap tripled in August to 120.9 billion pesos from 40.1 billion pesos the same month last year.

From 837.3 billion pesos over the seven months, the funding gap at the end of August fell to 958.2 billion pesos. This was more than 29 percent than the deficit of 740.7 billion pesos incurred during the same period last year.

But despite the increase, the treasury office noted that the budget deficit from January to August was only about 52% of the national government’s annual program of 1,856 billion pesos.

According to the Treasury report, spending reached 380.2 billion pesos last month, an increase of 34% from 283.3 billion pesos a year earlier. Of this amount, the government paid 1.4 billion pesos in interest to creditors.

Meanwhile, the national government saw its spending increase 11 percent to 2,964 billion pesos at the end of August, compared to 2,672 trillion pesos in the same period last year. Interest payments fell eight percent, with disbursements amounting to 21.9 billion pesos.

After deducting interest payments, the government recorded a primary deficit of 666.7 billion pesos at the end of August.

On the revenue side, collection increased 16% to 259.3 billion pesos against 243.2 billion pesos in the same period last year. In the first eight months, revenue increased 75% to 2.006 billion pesos.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) recorded a 1.9 percent drop in collections to 186.1 billion pesos last month, bringing the cumulative amount to 1,389 billion pesos.

“Going forward, the BIR must collect 173.1 billion pesos per month to meet its adjusted target for the year 2021 of 2,081.2 billion pesos,” the Treasury said.

The Customs Office (BOC) generated 53.4 billion pesos in the month, leading to 412.3 billion pesos in the first eight months.

The Treasury said that “to achieve its updated program for the year, BOC must raise an average monthly collection of 51.1 billion pesos from September to December 2021”.

The treasury office generated 4.7 billion pesos last month for a 10-month cache of 99.9 billion pesos.

According to the Treasury, the office’s income more than doubled due to increased remittances from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., dividends from other state-owned companies and income from the bond sinking fund investments.

Revenues from other offices reached 15.1 billion pesos last month, bringing its tally at the end of August to 104.8 billion pesos.


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