PH fiscal deficit balloons to P940.6-B from Jan-Oct on weak revenues


Posted at Nov 25 2020 01:43 PM

PH fiscal deficit balloons to P940.6-B from Jan-Oct on weak revenues 1
Bureau of Treasury. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The national government's budget gap from January to October ballooned to P940.6 billion, nearing the P1-trillion mark, as revenue collections remained weak, the Bureau of Treasury reported Wednesday.

This was a 170 percent jump or almost threefold increase compared to the P348.3 billion deficit booked in the same period last year.

The October deficit reached P61.4 billion, 24.56 percent higher from last year's shortfall of P49.3 billion as revenues dipped and spending slowed.

Total revenue for the month was 12.75 percent lower at P228.2 billion, as main tax agencies posted declines in collections.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue posted a 14.62 percent drop in collection for the month at P152.1 billon bringing its January to October performance to P1.6 trillion or lower by 10.38 percent.

The Bureau of Customs also saw a 12.25 percent decline in net revenue of P50.6 billion for the month.

National government spending meantime was 6.84 percent lower in October at P289.6 billion "largely attributed to the base effect of the one-off pension differential releases for the military and uniformed personnel in October last year, as well as the expected lower capital outlays during the year because of the pandemic," it said.

In September, the budget deficit was at P138.5 billion or 22.42 percent lower compared with the P178.6 billion posted over the same period last year.

January to September budget gap however widened to P879.2 billion, "almost three times" higher than the shortfall from a year ago but 32.3 percent below the revised program of P1.298 trillion for the period, it said.

The Philippine economy shrank by more than expected in the third quarter from a year ago as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to batter the Southeast Asian country but a loosening of coronavirus curbs helped ease the pain.

Government spending rose 5.8 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, compared with a 21.8 percent surge in the second quarter.

--with a report from Reuters

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