Budget gap swells
The eight-month budget gap even surpassed the P660.24-billion shortfall recorded for the whole of 2019.
Budget gap swells
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2020 - 12:00am

8-month deficit expands more than 6-fold

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s fiscal deficit  widened  further to P740.7 billion in the eight months to August, a sharp 515 percent increase from P120.4 billion a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic continued to weaken revenues amid an increase in spending,  the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

The eight-month budget gap even surpassed the P660.24-billion shortfall recorded for the whole of  2019.

For August alone, the government incurred a P40.1-billion deficit, a dramatic 1,510 percent increase from only P2.5 billion in the same period last year.

From January to August, government revenues dropped by nearly eight percent to P1.93 trillion from P2.09 trillion a year ago.

The bulk or P1.66 trillion of the amount came from taxes, while the remaining P269 billion came from non-tax collections.

Revenues generated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) fell by 10.3 percent to P1.3 trillion in the first eight months from P1.45 trillion in the same period last year.

“This already comprised 77 percent of the revised fiscal year 2020 target of P1.685 trillion, but only 58 percent when compared to the original program.  The BIR needs a monthly average collection of P96 billion for the rest of the year to reach its revised full-year program,” the BTr said.

Collections of the  Bureau of Customs (BOC) amounted to P347.3 billion, 15.6 percent lower than last year’s P411.2 billion due to lower import volume.

“For the year, the BOC has to collect P158.9 billion, or P40 billion on average per month, to achieve its revised P506.2 billion program,” the Treasury said.

Income generated by the BTr amounted to P192.9 billion, rising  by nearly 79 percent   from P107.9 billion last year on the back of higher dividend collections and other government service income.

The Treasury has attained almost 90 percent of its revised full-year program of P213.3 billion.

Other offices generated P76.3 billion in revenues from January to August, 27 percent lower than last year’s level due to limitations in government transactions following the imposition of community quarantine.

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