The national government’s budget deficit narrowed to P37.6 billion in February as spending contracted year-on-year due to the seasonality of disbursement of local governments’ internal revenue allotment (IRA).

February’s deficit was only a little over half of the P76.4 billon posted in 2019 as expenditures that month dropped 12.2 percent to P244.4 billion from P278.5 billion last year, the latest Bureau of the Treasury data released on Monday (April 6) showed.

In a report, the Treasury attributed the decline in disbursements last February to “the base effect of IRA of local government units (LGUs) for January 2019 which was released in February last year, as well as lower interest payments.”

The 2019 national budget was not passed on time, forcing the government to use a reenacted budget which led to delay in fund releases.

Net of the IRA base effect and interest payments, so-called productive spending, rose 6 percent year-on-year, the Treasury said.

The government’s tax and non-tax collections rose by 2.4 percent to P206.8 billion from P202.1 billion in 2019.

Edited by TSB

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