MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The government's budget deficit was likely lower than programmed in September, owing to controlled spending.
"I think we will still be below program in terms of disbursements," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad told reporters. "We are managing judiciously our spending. It is the collection that is hard to manage."
Abad did not disclose the government's spending and deficit targets for September.
On Thursday, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, making up two-thirds of state revenue, said last month's collections amounted to P60.96 billion, exceeded its goal of P58.89 billion.
The Bureau of Customs, on the other hand, fell short of its P23.6 billion target by around P2 billion.
The Department of Finance earlier said that it was confident that the government contained the budget shortfall at P37.9 billion last month to meet the P266 billion fiscal gap ceiling for the first 9 months of the year.
"Our third-quarter goal is achievable, we don't even bother to worry about it," Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran noted.
Beltran added the government was on track to limiting the country's deficit within the P325-billion target this year. - With Reuters