Budget deficit widens threefold

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    The government registered a budget deficit of P61.4 billion in October, 24.56 percent up from last year’s P49.3 billion.

    “The budget gap widened behind a 12.75 percent year-over-year contraction in revenue receipts despite a 6.84 percent reduction in disbursements,” the government said in a statement.

    As a result, the year-to-date deficit grew to P940.6 billion, almost threefold of last year’s P348.3 billion 10-month deficit.

    The government tallied a P228.2 billion receipt for October, down 12.75 percent from P261.6 billion last year. Tax collections accounted for 89 percent of the total at P203.8 billion while the remaining 11 percent was from non-tax collections worth P24.4 billion.

    This brings the government’s 10- month collection to P2.4 trillion, down 8.41 percent, but comprised 94 percent of the P2.5-trillion revised program for the year, the BTr said.

    The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P152.1 billion, down 14.62 percent, bringing the agency’s 10-month collection to P1.6 trillion. This is down 10.38 percent from last year’s actual revenue of P1.8 trillion.

    To date, BIR has collected 95 percent of its revised full-year target of P1.7 trillion.

    The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P50.6 billion, down 12.25 percent from comparable figures in 2019, bringing the year-to-date collection to P448.6 billion, equivalent to 89 percent of the P506.2 billion revised program for the year. The BOC’s year to date collection is down 4.98 percent.

    The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) meanwhile generated P6.9 billion in October, 34.93 percent lower than last year. The reduction was due to the lower share of the government from the income of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and profit of the Manila International Airport Authority, as well as interest income from deposits. This was partially offset by a 57.38 percent increase in bond sinking fund investment earnings.

    For the first 10 months of the year, the BTr’s income hit P208.5 billion, up 61.33 percent, far surpassing the original full-year target of P82.3 billion and accounts for 98 percent of the revised program of P213.3 billion on account of higher dividend collection and other government service income as well as interest on advances from government-owned and controlled corporations.

    Other offices (other non-tax including privatization proceeds and fees and charges) contributed P17.5 billion for the month, up 31 percent, driven by the P10-billion proceeds from the transfer of municipal development fund office government securities assets to the national government in compliance with the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

    The 10-month collection, however, was only at P104.6 billion, down 20.87 percent from last year due to the impact of community quarantine on the operations of the government collecting agencies.

    October spending by the government was at P289.6 billion, down 6.84 percent from last year’s P310.8 billion, largely attributed to the base effect of the one-off pension differential releases for the military and uniformed personnel in October last year, as well as the expected lower capital outlays during the year because of the pandemic.

    “Nonetheless, the resulting year-to-date expenditure of P3.3 trillion as of end-October 2019, was 12.75 percent or P374.5 billion higher compared to the P2.9 trillion spending performance a year ago,” the government said.

    “This was propelled by the implementation of various government’s COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease 2019) emergency response and assistance programs,” it added.

    The government said the P267.5 billion primary spending (net of interest payments) for October was 7.79 percent lower than the 2019 comparable figure. Primary expenditures were at P3 trillion for the ten-month period, up 13.49 percent from last year’s outcome P2.6 trillion.

    Total interest payments (IP) were at P22.1 billion for October, up 6.49 percent from P20.7 billion last year.