Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Thursday the country’s fiscal indicators are improving as shown by the lower deficit to GDP ratio and higher tax collections in the first nine months.
Diokno said in a message to reporters the national government deficit as percent of GDP in the first three quarters slowed down to 6.5 percent from 8.3 percent a year ago.
“Tax effort, defined as taxes as percent of GDP, rose to 15.3 percent from 14.8 percent in 2021,” Diokno said.
“For the 10-month period, BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue] collected P1.9 trillion, up by 12.6 percent over the same period a year ago; BOC [Bureau of Customs] collected P713.5 billion, up by 35.8 percent over the same period in 2021,” Diokno said.
The Bureau of the Treasury reported that the government’s budget deficit in September slightly declined to P179.8 billion from P180.9 billion a year ago as the revenue growth of 24.79 percent outpaced the 13.63-percent expansion in expenditures.
This brought the cumulative fiscal deficit from January to September to P1.0 trillion, 11.09 percent or P126.3 billion lower than a year ago and 20.47 percent or P260.6 billion behind the year-to-date goal of P1.3 trillion on higher receipts and slower expenditure growth.
Total revenues rose 24.79 percent year-on-year to P288.8 billion in September, as both tax revenues and non-tax collections posted positive growth for the month.
The resulting P2.7-trillion cumulative figure which already accounted for 80 percent of the full-year program, outstripped the previous year’s performance in the same period and the 2022 program by 18.79 percent (P420.3 billion) and 7.74 percent (P190.9 billion), respectively.
Tax collections made up P2.4 trillion (90 percent) of total revenues, with the remaining 10 percent or P272.6 billion coming from non-tax sources.