April budget surplus biggest in 25 years
4-month revenues up 18%, expenses down 11.6%By Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Aquino administration posted a budget surplus of P26.26 billion in April, the biggest in 25 years and more than 10 times the P2.6-billion surplus a year ago, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima announced Monday.
The fiscal performance for the month of April brought the record for the first four months to a surplus of P61 million, documents from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.
The January-April figure was a reversal of the P131.8-billion budget deficit recorded in the same period last year.
“Netting out interest payments, continued fiscal discipline and increasing revenue collections also resulted in a primary surplus of P102.21 billion as of April, a reversal of last year’s primary deficit of P7.03 billion,” Purisima said.
January-April expenses reached P461.4 billion, or 11.6 percent less than the P521.9 billion incurred in the same period of 2010.
Revenues for the first four months reached P461.4 billion, or 18.2 percent higher than last year’s P390.3 billion.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue contributed P302.9 billion, up 14.3 percent from year-ago collections of P265 billion.
The Bureau of Customs chipped in P85 billion, up 2 percent year on year from P83.4 billion. The Bureau of the Treasury turned in P44.5 billion, higher by 135 percent than the P19 billion earned a year ago.
Other government offices yielded P28.9 billion, rising by 26.2 percent year on year from P22.9 billion.
In April alone, expenditures reached P112 billion, down 8 percent from the P121.9 billion spent in the same month of 2010.
Total revenues for the month reached P138.3 billion, an increase of 11.1 percent from P124.5 billion. Of the total, the BIR contributed P103.4 billion, which was 13.4 percent higher than the year-ago level of P91.2 billion. Customs contributed P22.4 billion, a decrease of 1.5 percent from P22.8 billion.
Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said expenditures have started to pick up in April as the use of notice of cash allocations improved.
“We have strived to increase tax collections without imposing new taxes and we have been very aggressive in eliminating wasteful spending,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
The reduction in expenditures was in large part due to a 17.98-percent reduction in interest payments.
The P22.4-billion reduction in interest payments was attributable to the Department of Finance’s liability management program, which managed to stretch maturities on loans to as long as 25 years.
Malacañang noted that the P22.4 billion in savings from interest payments was enough to fund the entire Conditional Cash Transfer program for the year, which was given an allocation of P21 billion in the 2011 budget.
According to Lacierda, the primary surplus of P61 million “is a clear sign that we are being very careful in managing the people’s money.”