Slow gov't spending again trims budget deficit in August

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 30) — The country's budget deficit shrank in August as government spending contracted, according to Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) figures published Friday.

The BTr reported a ₱72-billion revenue-spending gap, lower by 40.43% year-on-year. It is also narrower than July's ₱86.8 billion.

Government spending increased by 6.39% in August to ₱404.5 billion. The Treasury cited higher National Tax Allotment (NTA) transfers to local government units and interest payments. The higher NTA is an offshoot of a Supreme Court ruling that expanded the revenue base where local government derive their share from national taxes, including internal revenue, Customs, and treasury. The previous source was only the Burerau of Internal Revenue.

Meanwhile, revenues totaled ₱332.4 billion, a 28.23% growth.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue collected ₱228.9 billion in August, up 23.03% annually.

The Bureau of Customs also reported ₱78.9 billion, net of its ₱188 million tax refund. The 47.84% jump is the highest year-on-year jump this year, said the Treasury.

The BTr itself posted a ₱4.9-billion income, a ₱2-million improvement from August 2021 — driven by its investment income along with higher NG (national government) share from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

Collection from other offices — which include privatization proceeds and fees — hit ₱19.1 billion. This is higher than ₱12.2 billion last year, said the Treasury.