MANILA - The national government's budget deficit widened in August as the Covid-19 pandemic dragged revenue collection, the Bureau of Treasury said in a statement on Wednesday.
The budget deficit swelled 1,510 percent in August to P40.1 billion compared to P2.5 billion it posted a year ago, bringing the year-to-date shortfall to P740.7 billion from P620.3 billion last year.
Revenue collection across agencies were down, with total revenues for the month lower by 13.05 percent at P243.2 billion.
"Tax revenue made up 96 percent or P233.1 billion of the total while the remaining 4 percent or P10.1 billion was raised through non-tax sources. Cumulative collections of P1.931 trillion as of end-August has similarly declined by 7.67 percent or P160.4 billion from a year ago," it said.
Net collection from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) stood at P187.9 billion or an 8.59 percent decline, while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) contributed P44.4 billion for August, down 17.19 percent.
Income collected by the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reached P2.1 billion for the month, 65.3 percent lower due mainly to a drop in PAGCOR remittance.
August expenditures inched up by 0.38 percent to P283.3 billion on the timing of subsidy releases to the PHIC for the health insurance premiums of indigent beneficiaries enrolled under the National Health Insurance Program, the BTr said.
"Net of the said expenditure, disbursements for the month of August grew by 11.3 percent year-on-year, largely on account of higher health and social services spending of the DOH and DSWD, respectively. YTD NG disbursements of P2.671 trillion is up by 20.79 percent or P459.9 billion from last year’s spending of P2.211 trillion for the first eight months of the year," it added.
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.
Metro Manila and other areas remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until Sept. 30.