Budget deficit hits P202.1 billion in May as pandemic fuels spending


Posted at Jun 23 2020 04:58 PM

Budget deficit hits P202.1 billion in May as pandemic fuels spending 1
Residents from Barangay Batasan Hills in Quezon City receive cash under the social amelioration program on May 4, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA -- The Philippines posted a budget deficit of P202.1 billion in May as the government spent more while collecting less due to the COVID-19 pandemic, treasury data released Tuesday showed.

Since the start of the year, the budget deficit climbed to P562.2 billion from P809 million during the same period last year, the Bureau of Treasury said.

Government revenues fell 52.25 percent in May, hitting just P151.5 billion. Tax collections fell 45.3 percent, while non-tax revenues plunged 87.8 percent, it said. 
Collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) shrank 44.1 percent in May to P114.4 billion, it said.

“The agency’s weak performance was still due to the effect of the prolonged enhanced community quarantine which prompted the Bureau to further extend its deadline for tax filing and payments to June 14, 2020,” Treasury said. 

BIR collections from January to May fell 25.8 percent to P673.7 billion compared to the same period in 2019.

Collections by the Bureau of Customs in May dipped 47.1 percent to P30.8 billion due to pandemic restrictions, the agency said. 

The BOC’s total collection of P210.5 billion for the first 5 months of 2020 was 16.4 percent lower compared to the same period last year.

Government expenditures in May meanwhile reached P353.6 billion, higher by 12.4 percent than in the same month last year. 

From January to May, government spending rose 26.6 percent to P1.66 trillion. 

The Philippines’ debt hit P8.6 trillion as of the end of April this year, the Treasury reported earlier this month.

The country has borrowed at least $4.55 billion (P228 billion) from different financial institutions for its COVID-19 response as of mid-May, the Department of Finance earlier said.