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Gov’t posts P13.4B budget surplus

Customs, BIR collections increased sharply in Jan.

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MANILA, Philippines—The government posted a budget surplus of P13.4 billion in January as revenues jumped 47 percent, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said Tuesday.

The January fiscal position reversed a deficit of P37.1 billion posted in the same month of 2010.

The surplus was registered “on the back of much improved revenue collections and the P24-billion remittances of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs)” to the Treasury, Purisima said.

The finance chief added that a primary surplus of P49.3 billion was posted in January, “which is the sixth primary surplus posted by the Aquino administration from July 2010.”

The government’s fiscal position computed without interest payments is the so-called primary surplus or deficit.

Documents from the Bureau of the Treasury showed that total government revenues in January reached P135.9 billion, or 47.3-percent higher than the P92.3 billion a year ago.

Of the total, the Bureau of Internal Revenue accounted for P74.6 billion, or 15.4-percent higher than last year’s P64.6 billion.

Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim S. Henares said the agency’s January collections surpassed the month’s target of P71.97 billion by P2.59 billion or about 3.6 percent.

“Meeting the target [in] the first month of the year is a good signal for the BIR,” Henares said. “However, it is still early in the year and we will continue our efforts to collect from everyone what is due.”

The Bureau of Customs collected P20.5 billion in January, 16.6-percent better than the P17.6 billion a year ago.

The Bureau of the Treasury yielded P31 billion, up six times from P5.2 billion, while other revenue offices turned in P9.8 billion, double the P4.9 billion last year.

Expenditures also fell 5.3 percent to P122.5 billion from P129.4 billion in January 2010.

“The trend improvement in cash collections of the BIR and BOC since the last quarter of 2010 clearly shows that the reforms implemented by the Aquino administration … as well as the intensified campaign against tax evaders and smugglers have started to produce good results,” Purisima said.

He noted that Customs, since July last year, has filed 28 criminal complaints that have a combined dutiable value of P42.5 billion and involved 134 respondents consisting of importers, brokers and BOC employees.


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