MANILA - The Philippine budget gap from January to November breached the P1-trillion mark as tax and non-tax revenue collections remained weak amid slight improvement in government spending, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said Wednesday.
The P1.069 trillion fiscal deficit year-to-date was 161-percent higher than P409.1 billion in the same eleven months last year.
November's deficit reached P128.3 billion, up 110 percent from P60.9 billion a year ago.
This was due to the rise in government spending by 2.3 percent, while total revenue collection decreased by 19.35 percent to P245.9 billion.
Tax collection in November declined by 17.4 percent to P191.7 billion, bringing down the total collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue by 11.19 percent to P1.788 trillion in January to November.
Non-tax revenues for the month also dropped by 13.29 percent to P43.7 billion, while year-to-date collection by the Bureau of Customs also declined 14.84 percent to P492.3 billion.
National government spending was slightly up by 2.3 percent to P374.1 billion on the back of "subsidy releases" relating to the unconditional cash transfer program and various COVID-19 related assistance and lending as part of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), the BTr said.
This raised January to November spending to P3.686 trillion, which grew by 11.59 percent from a year ago.
While COVID-19 financial assistance perked up spending, BTr said "cumulative spending still fell short of the revised program for the period owing to the delayed implementation of some measures under the Bayanihan 2."
The House of Representatives recently approved bills that extend the validity of the 2020 national budget and the Bayanihan 2 until next year to provide for more COVID-19 related assistance and measures.