Nat'l deficit widens in Sept. as gov't spends more on projects

By Anna Leah Gonzales

October 25, 2023, 5:03 pm

MANILA – The national government's budget deficit widened to PHP250.9 billion in September this year from PHP179.8 billion due to lower collections and higher spending on banner social protection programs.

Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) data on Wednesday showed that revenues during the month amounted to PHP255.4 billion, down from the PHP288.8 billion a year ago.

Year-to-date collection of PHP2.837 trillion, however, accounted for 76.10 percent of the total PHP3.729 trillion full-year program.

It was also higher by 6.79 percent year-on-year and surpassed the nine-month target by 2.98 percent or PHP82.1 billion.

Of the total, 89.5 percent or PHP2.541 trillion was generated through taxes, while the remaining balance of 10.45 percent came from non-tax sources.

National government expenditures, meanwhile, amounted to PHP506.3 billion in September 2023, 8.06 percent higher compared to the PHP468.6 billion recorded for the same period in 2022.

"This was mainly attributed to the implementation of banner social protection and health programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of Health, respectively, as well as capital outlay projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways," the BTr said.

Year-to-date, disbursements amounted to PHP3.821 trillion, 4.12 percent higher than last year.

"The robust disbursement performance for the third quarter helped trim down government underspending to PHP40.9 billion or 1.06 percent of the program for the first nine months of the year," the BTr added.

This compares to the PHP170.5 billion underspending recorded during the first semester.

For the first nine months of the year, the fiscal deficit narrowed to PHP983.5 billion, down by 2.89 percent year-on-year and 11.11 percent lower than the PHP1.106 trillion target.

The BTr said the year-to-date deficit figure is only 66 percent of the PHP1.499 trillion full-year program due to higher revenue and lower expenditure performance than programmed for the period. (PNA)