Diokno: Gov’t needs spending program catch-up plan

MANILA – The government needs to implement a program that will allow it to meet programmed spending and hit its growth target for the year.

“They have to have a catch-up plan,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said during an interview at the sidelines of the post-SONA economic briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed that government revenues reached P290.3 billion last June, 18.20% higher than the P245.6 billion in the same period last year.

Expenditures posted a higher growth of 27.91% to P505.8 billion from the year-ago’s P395.4 billion.

This resulted in a budget gap of P215.5 billion, higher than the P149.9 million in June 2021.

In the first six months of the year, total revenues reached P1.727 trillion, 4.80% higher than the P1.648 trillion in the same period in 2021.

Expenditures amounted to P2.401 trillion, lower by 3.04%  compared to the P2.477 trillion programmed for the period.

Budget deficit in the first half of the year reached P674.2 billion, 18.64% lower than the P828.7 billion target.

Diokno noted that even if the spending program for the six-month period was below target the difference is very small. He pointed out that the target would have been met had it not been for the election ban. (PNA)