9-month budget gap narrows to P101B

Deficit in September down 34% at P18.6B

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Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima. FILE PHOTO

The national government incurred a smaller budget deficit of P18.6 billion in September, down 34 percent from a year ago, as the growth in revenue collection outpaced that of expenditures.

The fiscal performance during the month indicated that the government is poised to register a full-year budget gap that is below the P238-billion ceiling, which is equivalent to 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Revenues rose by 21 percent to P127.3 billion last month while expenditures increased by just 6 percent to P146 billion.

“The September report shows an even healthier picture of the government’s fiscal performance as revenues posted a strong increase over last year’s collections,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a statement.

Fiscal figures for September brought the deficit for the first three quarters of the year to P101.2 billion, down year-on-year by 3 percent.

Revenues for the first nine months amounted to P1.27 trillion, up 13 percent from a year ago. Expenditures for the same period rose 12 percent to P1.37 trillion.

The increase in revenues was attributed largely to the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s antitax evasion drive, under which it has subjected various sectors to tighter tax audits.

The BIR likewise comes out with weekly print advertisements on top taxpayers to encourage tax compliance and to reveal huge income earners who are potentially tax evaders.

But despite the rise in revenues in the three quarters from a year ago, these were 1.6-percent below the target for the period. Similarly, expenditures for the first three quarters were below the programmed spending set for the period by 4.9 percent.

The Department of Finance said the deficit remained manageable and would not disrupt the downtrend in the government’s debt burden.

The declining debt burden, or the ratio of the government’s outstanding liabilities to the country’s gross domestic product, was cited as one of the reasons why the country got investment grade ratings this year.

It was reported earlier that the government’s outstanding debt of about P5 trillion was equivalent to 50 percent of the country’s GDP. The debt-to-GDP ratio has consistently fallen since hitting a peak of 74 percent in 2004. The decline came as the economy’s rate of expansion exceeded the increase in the government’s outstanding debt.

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  • Ragna_rok

    If only 101 billion is the deificit, then a cost cutting in national spending like PDAF and control on corruption and DAP would make our country zero deficit.

    However, the international financial powers like IMF, World Bank and Federal Reserve will not like that kind of situation because they will have no profit coming from the interest of the loans coming from the governments.

  • muddygoose

    Deficit budgeting is based on projections of indefinite sustainable growth. But we should plan to a point where we are actually starting to pay off debt and stop borrowing. Unless we actually reach this point, our economy will remain extremely fragile.

    • kapitanvic1

      Easier said than done. What country is close to achieving that? I believe everybody is headed for the same fate as Greece, it is just a matter of when. This is caused by the inclusion of China in the free market and the inception of computers both of which are taking away a lot of the jobs, jobs, jobs.

    • juan_luisjr

      the yardstick used by economists today is not just the deficit alone but taking the deficit as a percentage of GDP. In our case, the percentage is getting smaller which is viewed as positive. In my opinion, we are still far away of achieving a surplus.

  • kismaytami

    More budget than expenditures means more savings, which means more funds for DAP, one of pork barrels’ piglet.

  • Attackcat53

    kaya may budget deficit dahil nagpapanukala ang government ng budget na hindi ayon sa income niya, Kung walang “pork barrel” ang mga Congressmen, Senators, at President, siguradong walang deficit tayo sa budget.

    • juan_luisjr

      if you remove the pork, deficit pa rin but smaller naman.

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