MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) showed that the national government’s budget deficit for end-October fell below 86% or P33.6 billion ($751.34 million)*.
Lower-than-target spending for the January-October period kept the deficit to such low – lower than the programmed ceiling of P244.3 billion ($5.46 billion).
As of end-September 2014, the deficit stood at P31.1 billion ($695.36 million) versus the P235.5 billion ($5.27 billion) deficit cap for the period, data from the (DOF) showed.
Weak government spending caused the small budget shortfall, which fell below target by 15.37% as of end-October.
The government has been criticized for spending below program despite the need to accelerate disbursements to support reconstruction and rehabilitation in typhoon-affected areas.
Government expenditures totaled P1.61 trillion ($35.97 million) as against the goal of P1.9 trillion ($42.46 billion), even as the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said in recent months that it will fast track spending and look into the bottlenecks of government agencies.
Expenditures saw a 6% increase from the previous year. The DBM has yet to release its statement on the spending performance as of end-October.
Government revenues, meanwhile, stood at P1.58 trillion ($35.31 billion) in the first 10 months of 2014, 5% below the P1.66 trillion ($37.09 billion) target.
Year-on-year, collections posted a 13% growth.
“Over the past 3 years, we have seen total and tax revenues growing at a quicker pace than GDP (gross domestic product),” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.
Purisima added that the first 3 quarters of 2014 were no exception to this trend – total revenues grew 12.5%, while tax revenues rose 12.3%, both faster than the 9.1% nominal growth in GDP over the same period.
For October, the government incurred a deficit of P2.5 billion ($55.93 million), lower than the previous cap of P8.85 billion ($197.99 million).
Expenditures also fell below target by 10.86% or P154.8 billion ($3.46 billion).
Revenues stood at P152.3 billion ($3.41 billion), also below goal by 7.59%. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P44.70
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