Gov’t spending catching up, rises nearly 40% in September
Government spending surged a little over 39 percent to P415.1 billion in September to recover from the impact of a Congress that took the 2019 budget hostage over pork barrel kickbacks.
Actual expenditures on public goods and services in the first nine months of the year, however, was still below target as shown by a budget deficit in September that almost didn’t move—only by a fifth.
Bureau of Treasury data released on Tuesday, Oct. 22, showed that national government disbursements in September was the fastest in terms of growth so far in 2019, climbing from P298.6 billion in 2018.
In a statement, the Treasury said the government “continued to catch up with its spending plan for the year.”
It said at least 71 percent of 2019’s P3.769-trillion budget was to be disbursed by end of September despite the delay in the approval by Congress of the appropriations measure and an election ban on projects.
Between January and September, total expenditures grew 5.51 percent to P2.627 trillion from P2.489 trillion during the same nine-month period in 2018.
Treasury data, however, showed that actual disbursement was 2.14-percent lower than the P2.685-trillion program for the January to September period.
Tax and non-tax revenues collected during the month of September alone rose 16.89 percent to P236.5 billion from P202.4 billion a year ago.
This was part of the reason for a bigger deficit of P178.6 billion in September compared to just P96.2 billion in the same month in 2018.
For the first nine months of 2019, however, total budget deficit of P299 billion was lower by 20.95 percent than P378.2 billion in 2018. The increase in spending was outpaced by faster revenue collection.
Fiscal deficit by end of September was lower by 18 percent than the P364.7 billion projection for the period./TSB
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