Gov’t posts P19.5-B budget deficit
The national government incurred a budget deficit of P19.5 billion in January, jumping 23 percent year-on-year as a double-digit surge in expenditures outpaced that for revenues, according to documents from the Bureau of the Treasury.
Expenses in January reached P157.9 bllion, 11 percent more than the P142.3 billion spent in the same month last year.
On the other hand, revenues reached P138.4 billion, 9.5 percent higher than last year’s P126.4 billion.
Of the total revenue in January, P94.7 billion came from the Bureau of Internal Revenue while the Bureau of Customs contributed P24.5 billion. The BIR’s tax-take during the month was up by 11.2 percent year-on-year but was 6.2 percent short of the monthly goal while that of Customs exceeded the target for January by P200 million and was 11.6 percent higher than year-ago level.
The Bureau of the Treasury contributed P9.4 billion, which was 15.4 percent less than the P11 billion earned a year ago. Other government offices generated P9.8 billion, rising by 19.5 percent year-on-year from P8.2 billion.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said in a statement that, netting out interest payments in the expenditures, the government recorded a primary surplus of P35.3 billion in January, which would have been an improvement of 2.8 percent.
“We are confident of sustaining the improvements in our revenue generation especially with our aggressive campaign to improve (income tax) collections among self-employed, business and professionals,” Purisima said.
The finance chief, along with Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, earlier this month launched a campaign to increase average collections from such individual taxpayers to P200,000 a year from P33,000.
He said this was being done through more intensive collaboration and information sharing with local government units, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Professional Regulatory Commission and private sector industry and professional associations.
“No less than President Aquino himself has taken the lead in this endeavor (as) he pointed out to members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry the (group’s) dismal record in complying with tax laws,” he added.
Purisima was referring to the occasion when the President made a speech last Friday during an FFCCCII convention. The Chief Executive noted that of the federation’s 207 member-companies, 23 percent did not have a tax identification number and half did not file tax returns.
“It is this political will that will ensure the success of our campaign to improve tax compliance,” Purisima said.