Government continued to underspend as of end-Sept
Despite pronouncements that it will not underspend like its predecessor, the Duterte administration was unable to spend as much as it planned on public goods and services during the first nine months of the year.
The latest Bureau of the Treasury data released late Monday showed that the national government’s expenditures from January to September amounted to P2.015 trillion, 6 percent below the programmed P2.138 trillion for the nine-month period.
End-September disbursements nonetheless grew 8 percent from P1.86 trillion a year ago.
Total tax and nontax revenues as of September, meanwhile, increased 9 percent to P1.802 trillion from P1.647 trillion last year, hence exceeding the P1.793-trillion target.
As such, the end-September budget deficit stood at P213.1 billion, almost a third lower than the P345.2-billion program and almost flat from last year’s P213.7 billion.
In September alone, the deficit of P36.9 billion was just about half last year’s P75.3 billion as well as the programmed P71 billion for the month.
Expenditures last month reached P237 billion, down 2 percent from P241.3 billion a year ago and 7 percent below the P255.6-billion program.
Revenues in September, on the other hand, jumped 21 percent to P200.1 billion from P166 billion last year, while also surpassing by 8 percent the programmed P184.6 billion.
The end-September revenue take was mostly boosted by the government’s tax settlement with homegrown Mighty Corp.
In July, P3.4 billion was remitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue by the Philippine unit of Japan Tobacco International as part of the tax settlement that allowed the global tobacco giant to acquire almost P47 billion in Mighty’s assets.
An additional P12.1 billion was received by the BIR from JTI in September, after the firm sealed the deal and absorbed Mighty, which had been slapped three tax evasion cases worth almost P38 billion for using fake tax stamps on its products.
In all, JTI will pay the government P30 billion—P25 billion for the settlement on top of P5 billion in value-added tax—until April next year, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III had said.
This month, the government expects P5.8 billion from JTI; P8.5 billion in November; and P500 million in April 2018.
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