The government incurred a budget deficit of P180.9 billion in September, or 30.6 percent higher than the P138.5-billion shortfall a year ago, as the 17.50-percent growth in spending surpassed the 8.96-percent growth in revenue collections, data from the Bureau of the Treasury show.
The latest figure brought the cumulative budget deficit in the first nine months to P1.139 trillion, up 29.56 percent from the P879.2-billion deficit a year ago.
“The P1.1-trillion cumulative deficit for the nine-month period, which is equivalent to 61 percent of the revised P1.8 trillion full-year program, similarly surpassed the shortfall recorded for the same period last year by 29.56 percent but was still 20.11 percent lower versus the P1.4-trillion adjusted year-to-date target,” the Treasury said.
Revenue generation in September reached P231.4 billion, up 8.96 percent over the same month in 2020. The resulting cumulative collection as of end-September also increased to P2.2 trillion, up by 4.37 percent or P93.7 billion from the same period last year and 4.71 percent above the revised program.
Ninety-one percent or P2.0 trillion of the total was raised from taxes while non-tax revenues, which declined by 27.36 percent amid lower income of the Treasury, made up the remaining 9 percent or P210.1 billion. About 78 percent of the P2.9-trillion revised full-year program was collected as of end-September.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue posted a 9.69-percent year-on-year increase in September collections, reaching P154.2 billion. The agency’s September performance drove its cumulative collection to P1.5 trillion, breaching the prior year’s achievement and the revised January to September 2021 program by 6.86 percent or P99.0 billion and 0.72 percent or P11.1 billion, respectively.
The Bureau of Customs raised P57.6 billion, up by 13.42 percent or P6.8 billion more than the P50.8 billion collected in September 2020. Its aggregate revenue in the first three quarters reached P469.8 billion, representing 18.04-percent or P71.8-billion increase from a year earlier and 3.13 percent above the revised program of P455.6 billion.
Revenues raised by the Bureau of the Treasury amounted to P5.6 billion in September, down by 35.04 percent or P3.0 billion from the comparable period last year, on a 89.74-percent drop in dividend remittance. This resulted in 47.56-percent decline in cumulative revenue of P105.5 billion in the nine-month period from P201.6 billion a year ago.
September collections from other offices amounted to P13.2 billion, up 19.52 percent or P2.1 billion from a year earlier. This drove the January to September cumulative revenue to P104.6 billion, representing a 19.29-percent or P16.9-billion acceleration from the previous year’s P87.7 billion and exceeding the revised program for the period by 50.08 percent or P34.9 billion.
Meanwhile, September expenditures went up by 17.50 percent to P412.4 billion from last year’s P350.9 billion. The outturn for the month included the transfer of P10 billion to the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund in compliance with Republic Act No. 11524.
Cumulative disbursements from January to September grew by 11.70 percent or P353.6 billion to reach P3.4 trillion, equivalent to 71.3 percent of the revised 2021 full-year target. This was still below the program for the nine-month period by 5.22 percent or P186.1 billion, of which P73.6 billion or 39.5 percent was due to the lower-than-programmed interest payments.
“Nonetheless, the spending gap as of end-September 2021 was lower when compared to the 9.6 percent or P233.4 billion recorded for the first semester of the year,” the Treasury said.
Michael Ricafort, chief economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said the timely approval of the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget would help boost government spending especially on infrastructure for 2021.
Ricafort said this was, “an important pillar of the economic recovery program to pump-prime the economy, alongside with additional measures to further re-open the economy in view of the increased arrival and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months.”