Gov’t budget deficit hits P129 B in Nov.

Published December 24, 2021, 1:13 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Duterte administration’s budget deficit registered only a marginal increase last November owing to improved revenue collections, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.

The national government incurred a P128.7 billion fiscal gap last month, up by only 0.33 percent compared with P128.3 billion in the same month last year.

Based on the Treasury report on Friday, Dec. 24, the government managed to control the rise in deficit due to better revenues, which accelerated by 15.5 percent from P245.8 billion to P284 billion.

Of that amount, tax haul jumped 14 percent to P270.3 billion from P236.5 billion, while non-tax revenues amounted to P13.7 billion, an increase of 49 percent compared with P9.2 billion a year earlier.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue also registered a 10 percent growth in collections from P191.7 billion to P210.7 billion.

Moreover, the Bureau of Customs saw its revenues jumping by 32 percent year-on-year to P57.9 billion in November from P43.7 billion.

In addition, the Treasury bureau’s income grew 115 percent to P6.1 billon from P2.8 billion.

Meanwhile, public spending increased 10 percent in November to P412.7 billion from P374.1 billion. Of that amount, interest payments cornered P31.2 billion, up 56 percent year-on-year from P20 billion.

Netting out the interest payments, the government recorded a primary deficit of P97.5 billion, 10 percent lower than the P108.2 billion in the same month last year.

The November budget deficit caused the government’s 11-month financing gap to rise by 24.6 percent to P1.332 trillion from P1.069 trillion in the same period last year.

But despite the uptick, the actual budget deficit the government incurred as of November accounted for only 74 percent of the revised P1.8 trillion full-year ceiling.

Government revenues at end-November 2021 reached P2.774 trillion, higher by six percent compared with P2.617 trillion last year.

Expenditures, on the other hand, increased 11 percent from P3.686 trillion to P4.106 trillion.

Earlier, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported that the ratio between the country’s economic output and the budget deficit incurred widened in the first nine-months of the year.

Data from the DOF showed that the Duterte administration’s fiscal gap inched up to 8.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in January to September 2021 from 6.9 percent in the same period last year.