Budget deficit may fall below ceiling in 2022

Published November 20, 2022, 1:10 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) said the national government’s budget deficit this year may fall below ceiling due to higher than expected revenue collections of its two main tax agencies.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the fiscal deficit as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) settled at only 6.5 percent in the first nine-months of the year, way below the government’s 7.6 percent full-year program.

The latest deficit ratio is also lower than the 8.3 percent recorded in the same period last year and 8.6 percent for full-year 2021.

“The government has ramped up efforts to maintain fiscal discipline through its revenue agencies, which have surpassed their programmed collections for 2022,” Diokno said.

The lower budget deficit ratio comes as the Bureau of Customs reported that its revenue haul already exceeded its 2022 target of P721.52 billion in less than 11-months.

Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said the bureau generated P745.5 billion from January to Nov. 11, already above by 3.27 percent or P23.98 billion against its goal for the year.

Citing a preliminary report, Ruiz said all 17 collection districts of the bureau reached their respective collection targets, garnering an excess of 16.8 percent or P103.29 billion as of Oct. 31.

“This year’s revenue collection performance historically marks the highest revenue collection of the agency to date,” Ruiz said.

On the other hand, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which contributes about two-thirds to government coffers, minimally surpassed its collection target in the first 100-days of the Marcos administration.

At end-September, the BIR collected P1.732 trillion, equivalent to 71 percent of its P2.438 trillion full-year target.

The BIR needs to raise P706 billion from October to December to meet its goal.

Earlier, the Bureau of the Treasury said the national government’s budget deficit decreased 11 to P1.012 trillion in January to September from P1.139 trillion in the same period last year.

The end-September budget deficit was also 20 percent lower than the P1.273 trillion ceiling for the period.

The Treasury bureau also revealed that revenues from January to September exceeded the government’s target of P2.466 trillion by seven percent to P2.657 trillion. It also grew 19 percent year-on-year from P2.237 trillion.

Total expenditures, meanwhile, improved nine percent to P3.67 trillion from P3.376 trillion. However, public spending fell short of its P3.739 trillion goal for the period.

At end-September, the government posted a primary deficit of P612.8 billion, 23 percent lower compared with P799.8 billion in the same period last year.