Budget deficit below ceiling in 9 months despite overspending

By Chino S. Leyco

The Duterte administration’s budget deficit remained well below ceiling in the first nine-months of the year owing to higher revenue collections amid above-target expenditures, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.


Bureau of the Treasury

According to the Treasury report released yesterday, the national government incurred a P378.2 billion budget deficit in January to August this year, below by five percent compared with the P396.6 billion program for the period.

The below ceiling budget gap was registered despite the three percent overspending in the first three-quarters.

At end-September, expenditures amounted to P2.49 trillion, higher by P62.6 billion against the target of P2.427 trillion. Of that amount, interest payments reached P271.3 billion, while other spending stood at P2.218 trillion.

Total revenues, on the other hand, surpassed the P2.03 trillion target for the period by four percent to P2.111 trillion due to higher income of the Treasury bureau, which raised P90.5 billion, or double the P45 billion goal.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P1.444 trillion at end-August, while the Bureau of Customs generated P434.6 billion and other offices with P142.2 billion.

Year-on-year, the national government’s budget deficit increased by 78 percent in January to August from P213.1 billion. Revenues increased by 17 percent from P1.801 trillion, while expenditures rose 24 percent from P2.014 trillion.

In September alone, the fiscal deficit reached P96.2 billion, up 161 percent compared with P36.9 billion in the same month last year.

Revenues in September slightly increased by one percent to P202.4 billion from P200.1 billion, while expenditures rose by 26 percent to P298.6 billion from P237 billion.