During President Rodrigo Duterte’s first month as the President of the Philippines, government revenue went down in July compared to the same period a year earlier due to slower non-tax revenue and more public spending.
“The total revenues for July declined 5 percent year-on-year owing to reduced non-tax income from the operations of the Bureau of the Treasury and other offices, while expenditures grew 5 percent as a result of strong public spending,” the Department of Finance explained in an emailed statement.
The decline in revenue further widened the budget deficit by 57 percent, bringing it to P50.7 billion from P32.2 billion.
This also accumulated to P171 billion for the seventh-month fiscal gap, which is less than the P388.87-billion deficit program for the first half of the year, but higher than the P18.5 billion deficit in the same period in 2015.
As of the last day of July, total revenues hit P1.27 trillion, 1 percent higher from P1.26 trillion.
Spending increased by 12 percent, from P1.28 trillion to P1.44 trillion.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which collect 90 percent of government revenue, collected P1.132 trillion from January to July, a 9 percent increase compared to last year.
According to DOF data, BIR collections decreased by 1 percent to P117.4 billion, although its seven-month collection increased by 9 percent from P824.1 billion to P901 billion.
The BOC’s collections increased by 3 percent after collecting P31 billion, also increasing its end-July collections by 6 percent to P221.5 billion.
However, collections from other government agencies fell by 26 percent, gathering only P11 billion.
According to National Treasurer Roberto Tan, the collections for 2016 have fallen by more than 50 percent, from P140.6 billion in 2015 to P66.3 billion this year.
The Bureau of Treasury collections also fell by 36 percent in July to P9.1 billion due to lower investment income from the Securities Stabilization Fund (SSF), the Bond Sinking Fund (BSF) and the general fund’s regular deposits, added Tan. The agency collected P81.2 billion in 2015, but was only able to collect P72.8 billion this year, a 10 percent decrease.
Interest payments, however, also fell 25 percent, from P53.1 billion to P40 billion.
Year-to-date comparison showed interest payments decreased by 7 percent, from P209.2 billion to P193.7 billion.
The DOF said that the government has a primary surplus of P22.7 billion after seven months this year, provided interest payments are not included in the figures.
The agency said despite the lower surplus this year, it shows “better budget execution.”