7-month budget gap swells to P104.5BBy Michelle V. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government’s budget deficit rose substantially in July from a year ago as the increase in expenditures outpaced that of revenue collection.
However, the Department of Finance said the deficit for the first seven months of 2013 indicated that the ceiling set by fiscal authorities for the first three quarters and the full year would be observed.
The budget gap reached P53.22 billion in July, up nearly 36 percent from P39.25 billion in the same month last year, the DOF reported Monday.
Revenues, made up largely of taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and import duties generated by the Bureau of Customs, amounted to P144.62 billion while expenditures reached P197.84 billion.
Revenues for the month were up 17.3 percent year on year, a development finance officials credited largely to the BIR’s antitax evasion drive. Expenditures, however, grew at an even faster pace of 21.7 percent.
The spike in expenditures in July was due to the Aquino administration’s pump-priming activities for the year following the below-program spending in the first semester.
The cumulative deficit from January to July amounted to P104.51 billion, up year on year by nearly 42 percent from P73.63 billion.
Despite the sharp rise in the deficit, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima expressed confidence that the caps set at P144.45 billion for the first three quarters and P238 billion for the full year would not be breached.
Total revenues generated in the first seven months reached P984.09 billion, up 11.3 percent from P884.23 billion a year ago.
Expenditures in the same period amounted to P1.089 trillion, a gain of 13.6 percent from P957.86 billion last year.