Gov’t spending further quickens in November

Published December 24, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

The national government’s expenditures further accelerated in November on the back of the catch-up spending being implemented by the Duterte administration, data from the Bureau of the Treasury revealed.

Public spending jumped by 22.3 percent last month to ₱365.6 billion from ₱298.8 billion in the same month last year owing to primary expenditures like investment in infrastructure, the treasury report stated.

“Primary expenditures (net of interest payments) was responsible for much of the increase as non-interest spending jumped 27.06 percent to ₱348.3 billion,” the bureau said in a statement.

During the month, interest payments declined 30 percent to ₱17.3 billion from ₱24.7 billion a year ago.

According to the treasury, the lower interest payments was driven by the “matured bonds and the receipt of settlement premia from the re-issuance of outstanding series.”

In January to November this year, the national government’s total expenditures rose seven percent to ₱3.303 trillion from ₱3.095 trillion in the same period last year.

“The catch-up performance in November boosted spending for the first 11-months,” the treasury said.

The end-November disbursement is now only ₱454 billion shy to hit the national government’s revised spending program for 2019 of ₱3.757 trillion.

Based on the treasury data, primary expenditures reached ₱2.971 trillion at end-November, up seven percent year-on-year, while interest payments increased three percent to ₱331.8 billion from ₱320 billion a year before.

Amid higher spending, the Duterte administration’s budget deficit grew 55 percent in November to ₱60.9 billion from ₱39.1 billion in the same month last year.
“The strong November outturn brought the year-to-date deficit to ₱409.1 billion, trimming the underperformance against last year’s level to 14.27 percent or ₱68.1 billion,” the treasury said.

The Duterte administration’s first 11-month budget deficit is 14 percent lower compared with ₱477.2 billion in the same period of 2018, and way below its nominal ceiling for the year of ₱610 billion.

Meanwhile, the national government incurred a ₱43.6 billion primary deficit last month, more than thrice the ₱14.5 billion a year ago. Year-to-date, it stood at ₱77.4 billion, down from ₱157.2 billion last year.

Government revenues, on the other hand, increased by 17 percent last month to ₱304.7 billion. Of that amount, tax collections rose 17 percent to ₱284 billion, while non-taxes improved 15 percent to ₱20.1 billion.