MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines posted a budget deficit of P34.854 billion in September after recording a surplus in the previous month, buoyed by accelerated government spending.
Government revenues in September amounted to P105.309 billion, almost unchanged from last year, while spending rose 14% to P140.163 billion, the Finance department said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue, which accounted for two-thirds of total revenue in September, raked in P71.036 billion, 8% more than year-ago levels, while the Bureau of Customs collected P23.208 billion, up by an annual 3%.
"Both major collection bureaus’ monthly collections have consistently exceeded that of the previous year’s," Finance Secretay Cesar V. Purisima pointed out.
Last month's shortfall brought the government's budget deficit in the nine months to September to P106.062 billion, P77.281 billion lower than the target P183.343 billion.
Revenues during the period climbed by 10% to P1.119 trillion, while expenses grew by 15% to P1.225 trillion.
Breaking down the revenues, the BIR accounted for P772.468 billion, up by an annual 13%, while the BoC collected P213.656 billion, 10% more than what it recorded last year.
"Our aggressive efforts to improve tax compliance has consistently generated fiscal space to provide funding for the Aquino administration’s spending priorities," Purisima said.
Moreover, he added his agency "remains committed to push for reforms in fiscal policy and revenue-generating legislation."