MANILA - The Bureau of Treasury said Wednesday the national government's budget deficit widened in July due to higher expenditures to fund COVID-19 rehabilitation and recovery efforts.
Budget deficit for July reached P140.2 billion, up 86.21 percent compared to the same month last year, the Bureau of Treasury said in a statement.
The higher deficit reflects a 10.4 percent growth in government expenditures "boosted by the implementation of various COVID-19 rehabilitation and recovery" measures compared to an 11.22 percent drop in revenue collection, the BTR said.
The strong outturn pushed the budget gap to P700.6 billion, or over 6 times compared to P117.9 billion shortfall in July 2019, the agency said.
Recently, the government lowered its economic growth target to a contraction of as much as 5.5 percent from its initial estimate of a 3.4 percent drop due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Metro Manila its nearby provinces are still under general community quarantine to enable gradual reopening of the economy, where businesses and transport are allowed to operate at a limited capacity.
The Philippines crash landed into recession after the second quarter gross domestic product dived 16.5 percent due to the pandemic and resulting lockdowns which started in March.
The Department of Budget and Management said Tuesday it has transmitted to Congress the proposed P4.5-trillion 2021 budget.