Government keeps deficit at P31B for Jan-Sept
MANILA, Philippines – The national government’s deficit is still below program from January to September this year as the Aquino administration failed to spend as intended.
The government has been criticized for spending below program despite the need to accelerate disbursements to support reconstruction and rehabilitation in typhoon-affected areas.
The deficit as of end-September stood at P31.1 billion ($693.32 million) versus the P235.5 billion ($5.25 billion) deficit cap for the period, data from the Department of Finance (DOF) showed.
From January to September, government expenditures amounted to P1.46 trillion ($325.38 billion), 16% below the target of P1.73 trillion ($385.56 billion).
However, the disbursements as of end-September were 6% higher than the P1.37 trillion ($305.40 billion) spent a year ago.
“Year-to-date interest payments came in at P257.4 billion ($5.74 billion), lower than programmed and thus generating savings of P19 billion ($423.56 million)," Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.
The interest payment as a share of the national government’s disbursements also continued its downward trend. “As of the third quarter of this year, the percentage has dropped to 17.7% from 18.9% in the same period a year ago," Purisima added.
Government revenues, meanwhile, stood at P1.43 trillion ($318.70 billion) for the January-September period, also below the target of P1.49 trillion ($333.11 billion).
The revenues registered though a 13% increase versus the P1.27 trillion ($283.04 billion) collected in the same period a year ago.
For September alone, the government incurred a deficit of P5.2 billion ($115.94 million), significantly below the cap of P28.67 billion ($639.11 billion), also due to underspending.
Government expenditures amounted to P160 billion ($3.57 billion), lower than the target of P180.56 billion ($4.03 billion).
Revenues, meanwhile, outpaced the target of P151.89 billion ($3.39 billion), with collections amounting to P154.6 billion ($3.45 billion).
The Bureau of Customs raised P265.8 billion ($5.93 billion) to date, 18% better than last year but still 12% short of program.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue's collections from January to September, on the other hand, increased 11% year-on-year to P996.4 billion ($22.22 billion) but falls 7% below target for the period.
The Department of Budget and Management has yet to release its statement on the underspending for the 9-month period. – Rappler.com
($1 = P44.84)