Gov’t budget deficit exceeds ceiling last year

By Chino Leyco

The national government surpassed its spending program last year, which still outpaced the slightly above target revenue collections that resulted in higher-than-expected budget deficit, the Bureau of the Treasury reported Thursday.


Based on the Treasury report obtained by reporters, the national government incurred a P558.26 billion fiscal gap in 2018, exceeding the P526.8 billion ceiling set by the Duterte administration’s economic managers last October by 5.9 percent.

The full year 2018 fiscal deficit is also higher by 59 percent compared with P350.64 billion registered in the previous year.

According to the treasury bureau, the government spent P3.408 trillion last year, exceeding by 1.8 percent the P3.346 trillion target for last year, while its total revenues marginally breached the P2.82 trillion goal for 2019 by one percent to P2.85 trillion.

Year-on-year, the expenditures increased by 20.7 percent from P2.823 trillion, while revenues jumped by 14 percent from P2.473 trillion.

In December alone, the Duterte administration incurred a budget of P81.04 trillion after public spending amounted to P313.25 billion, while revenue collection reached P232.21 billion.