Gov’t borrows lower than planned in 2022

The Bureau of the Treasury cancelled its last borrowing plan for the year given the government’s better than expected revenue collection performance, resulting in lower borrowing than originally planned.

National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon said on Monday, Dec. 12, that the bureau already borrowed around P2.1 trillion from local and foreign creditors since the start of the year.

De Leon said this amount is enough to cover the government’s full-year financing program.

The government was supposed to borrow P2.2 trillion this year. However, it opted to borrow less after the Bureau of the Customs exceeded its full-year target by 3.3 percent as early as Nov. 15, generating P745.50 billion.

Based on the Treasury data, the P2.1 billion total borrowings also declined by 19 percent compared with P2.6 trillion last year.

In a memorandum dated Dec. 7, 2022 posted on the Treasury website, the government canceled the auctions of Treasury bills and 20-year Treasury bonds scheduled on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13, respectively.

The government was supposed to sell P40 billion worth of IOUs this week, consisting of P35 billion of long-term notes and P15 billion of short-term debt papers.

Last Nov. 30, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno expressed optimism that the government will surpass its collection goal this year, banking on the Customs revenue excess.

“Our collection as of one month ago is P2.9 trillion, 18 percent higher than last year and about 90 percent of our goal for the year,” Diokno said. “I’m very sure we will exceed our revenue target.”

In a related development, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) slashed its collection target for the year to P2.392 trillion from P2.438 trillion.

BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. said this year’s revised target was 1.87 percent or P45.71 billion lower than its original goal.

In the first 10-month of the year, the BIR collected P1.9 trillion, below by 3.5 percent against its revised P1.97 trillion goal for the period.

To attain its lowered target, the bureau needs to generate P490 billion in the final two months of 2022.

The BIR is tasked to collect at least P240.27 billion in November and P178.27 billion in December.