National gov’t budget gap narrows in September as public spending dips

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The national government’s fiscal balance posted a narrower shortfall in September as public spending’s decline surpassed the still tepid revenue collections due to COVID-19 pandemic economic fallout during the period.

Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury showed the budget gap last month stood at P138.5 billion, down 22.42% from P178.6 billion in September 2019.

September’s fiscal shortfall, however, is wider than the P40.1-billion budget deficit recorded in August.

“The budget gap narrowed as the 10.19% year-on decline in revenue collections was matched by a 15.45% dip in public spending,” the Treasury noted.

Year-to-date, fiscal gap stood at P879.2 billion, up 194.06% from P299 billion in January to September 2019.

Expenditures

The government’s expenditures in September stood at P350.9 billion, down 15.45% from P415.1 billion “due to the timing of subsidy releases and the base effect of higher infrastructure spending in the same month last year.

“The lag is attributed mainly to measures under RA No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act which are still to be implemented following the approval of the law last September 11, 2020,” the Treasury said.

The January to September public spending, meanwhile, amounted to P3.022 trillion, up 15.07% from P2.626 trillion in the same period last year.

Revenues

State collections in September slipped by 10.19% to P212.4 billion, around P193 billion or 91% of which were from taxes while the remaining 9% or P19.4 billion came from non-tax sources.

Collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue stood at P140.6 billion, down 6.56% year-on-year.

The Bureau of Customs’ revenue performance for the month declined by 13.69% to P50.8 billion.

The BTr’s income last month, meanwhile, plummeted by 19.35% to P8.6 billion.

Year-to-date, revenues totaled P2.143 trillion, down 7.92%. This, however, is 8.80% above the P1.97-trillion revised government target.

To date, 85% of the P2.520-trillion full-year revenue program has been collected, according to the Treasury.—AOL, GMA News

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