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10-mo budget gap hits P235B

Gov’t spending picked up in October, but deficit still below target
By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:30 AM November 23, 2017

As spending on public goods and services jumped by more than a fourth in October, the national government widened its budget deficit that month by 830 percent to P21.8 billion from P2.3 billion a year ago.

However, the latest data showed that the national government continued to underspend during the first 10 months of the year as expenditures of P2.24 trillion were 7-percent lower than the programmed disbursements of P2.4 trillion.

The end-October expenditures nonetheless exceeded by a tenth the P2.04 trillion posted in the same 10-month period last year.

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In October alone, the amount spent by the national government climbed 28 percent to P226.9 billion from P177 billion in the same month last year.

Disbursements that month, however, were lower than the P265.6-billion program.

Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno told reporters on Wednesday that the jump in disbursements last month was the fastest so far this year, reversing the year-on-year declines of 6.9 percent a year ago and 1.8 percent a month ago.

“Higher expenditures for social services by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, transportation and equipment by the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police, and road infrastructures by the Department of Public Works and Highways buoyed government spending for the period,” Diokno explained.

“Government spending is expected to further strengthen for the remaining two months of the year due to the acceleration of program/project implementation, provision of the yearend bonus of government employees, and requests for payment by contractors/creditors before the year ends,” the Department of Budget and Management said in a statement.

Tax and nontax revenues grew 17 percent to P205.1 billion in October from a year ago’s P174.6 billion.

The collections of the Bureaus of Internal Revenue and of Customs, the country’s two biggest tax-collection agencies, increased 17 percent year-on-year to P142.5 billion and 29 percent to P42.9 billion, respectively.

From January to October, revenues rose by a tenth to P2.01 trillion from last year’s P1.82 trillion.

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The BIR’s 10-month tax take jumped 11 percent year-on-year to P1.44 trillion. The import duties and other taxes collected by the BOC as of end-October, meanwhile, increased by 15 percent to P366.7 billion.

As such, the budget deficit as of October widened by 9 percent to P234.9 billion from the P216 billion posted during the first 10 months of last year.

The government had programmed a P482.1-billion deficit for 2017, equivalent to 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

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TAGS: 10-mo budget, budget deficit, public goods and services
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