Nat'l deficit widens by 43% in May

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

June 27, 2024, 6:19 pm

MANILA – The national government's budget deficit widened to PHP174.9 billion in May this year from PHP122.2 billion in the same month last year, reflecting a 43.10-percent increase as government expenditure outpaced revenue collections.

In a news release on Thursday, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) attributed the higher deficit to the acceleration in government spending, "pushing disbursement growth for the month to 22.4 percent, as against revenue expansion of 14.59 percent."

BTr data showed that state collections in May amounted to PHP382.1 billion, up 14.59 percent from the PHP333.4 billion in the same period last year.

The month's strong revenue performance was underpinned by higher non-tax collections.

Year-to-date collection stood at PHP1.9 trillion, outperforming the previous year's outturn by 16.34 percent or PHP260.2 billion.

Of the total amount, 85.59 percent, or PHP1.6 trillion was generated through taxes, while the remaining balance of 14.41 percent, or PHP267 billion came from non-tax sources.

Nat’l expenditures

National government expenditures, meanwhile, amounted to PHP557 billion in May, 22.24 percent higher compared to the PHP455.7 billion spent a year ago.

"The increase was driven largely by the implementation of capital outlay projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of National Defense, as well as the social and health programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Health, respectively," the BTr said.

The Treasury noted that the higher national tax allotment shares of local government units and increased budgetary support to government-owned and controlled corporations also contributed to the growth of disbursements in May.

Total state expenditures from January to May stood at PHP2.3 trillion, higher by 17.65 percent compared to the PHP1.9 trillion posted in the same period in 2023.

Primary expenditures for the month reached PHP495.9 billion, recording a 19.69-percent growth from the same period last year.

Interest payments, on the other hand, amounted to PHP61.1 billion in May, reflecting a 47.78-percent year-on-year growth due to additional debt incurred last year and higher interest rates of both domestic and foreign borrowings.

For the first five months of the year, the fiscal deficit widened to PHP404.8 billion, which is 24.06 percent or PHP78.5 billion more than the PHP326.3 billion recorded during the same period in 2023. (PNA)