Gov't revenues down 16 percent in first half due to pandemic: DOF

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2020 09:09 PM | Updated as of Jul 02 2020 09:10 PM

 As debt grew further in May 
 

Residents from Barangay Batasan Hills in Quezon City line up to receive cash under the social amelioration program amid the enhanced community quarantine on May 4, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Collections from the government's top two revenue agencies dipped in the January-to-June period due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Finance said on Thursday. 

This as the Bureau of Treasury reported that the national government's debt swelled further in May to P8.89 trillion as the country borrowed more money to fund efforts to fight the outbreak and dampen the economic impact of the lockdowns meant to check its spread.

The DOF said that based on preliminary data, the combined collections of the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of Customs (BOC) reached P1.155 trillion for the first half of 2020. This is 16 percent lower than the amount collected during the same period last year. 

"The BIR, which accounts for the bulk of the government’s tax collections, reported a tentative total of P901.96 billion collected in 2020's first semester," the DOF said. 

This was P170.5 billion or 15.9 percent lower than the P1.072 trillion it collected during the same period last year, the DOF said. 

The BOC meanwhile collected P253.04 billion during the first half, or 16.49 percent lower than its collection of P303.01 billion during the same period in 2019. 

DEBT RISES FURTHER

The Bureau of Treasury said that the Philippines' debt grew by P290.44 billion in May from April, with the total debt now at P8.89 trillion. 

In a statement released on Monday, the Treasury said that the added debt was "primarily due to the increased reliance on government securities issuance and external loan availments to fund COVID-19 response amid a sharp drop in revenue collections." 

Since the start of the year, the government's debt has increased by nearly P1.16 trillion or 15 percent. 

Of the total debt stock, 32 percent was foreign debt while 68 percent was domestic debt.