Gov’t budget deficit triples in August

Published September 23, 2021, 10:50 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

Increases in public spending last month forced the national government to raise its budget deficit in the first eight-months of the year near the trillion peso mark.

Bureau of the Treasury office

The Bureau of the Treasury reported on Thursday, Sept. 23, that the Duterte administration’s fiscal gap tripled in August to P120.9 billion from P40.1 billion in the same month last year.

From P837.3 billion in the seven months, the end-August funding gap jumped to P958.2 billion. This was higher by 29 percent than the P740.7 billion deficit incurred in the same period last year.

But despite the uptick, the Treasury bureau noted that the January to August budget deficit only accounted for about 52 percent of the national government’s full-year program of P1.856 trillion.

Based on the Treasury report, expenditures reached P380.2 billion last month, an increase of 34 percent compared with P283.3 billion a year earlier. Of that amount, the government paid P1.4 billion in interest to creditors.

Meanwhile, the national government saw spending grow 11 percent to P2.964 trillion at end-August from P2.672 trillion in the same period last year. Interest payments declined by eight percent, with disbursements amounting to P21.9 billion.

Netting out the interest payments, the government recorded a primary deficit of P666.7 billion at end-August.

On the revenue side, collection rose six percent to P259.3 billion compared with P243.2 billion in the same period last year. For the first eight months, revenue haul grew 75 percent to P2.006 trillion.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) posted 1.9 percent decline in collections to P186.1 billion last month, bringing the cumulative amount to P1.389 trillion.

“Going forward, BIR must collect P173.1 billion per month to meet its adjusted full-year 2021 target of P2,081.2 billion,” the Treasury said.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) generated P53.4 billion during the month leading to P412.3 billion in the first eight months.

The Treasury said “to achieve its updated program for the year, BOC needs to raise a monthly average collection of P51.1 billion from September to December 2021.”

The Treasury bureau generated P4.7 billion last month for a 10-month cache of P99.9 billion.

According to the Treasury, the bureau’s income rose more than double due to higher remittance from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., dividends from other state-owned firms and earnings from bond sinking fund investment.

Revenues from other offices reached P15.1 billion last month, bringing its end-August tally to P104.8 billion.