5-month budget deficit hits P22.79B
Gov’t spending up 13.1%, revenues gain 11%By Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The national government posted a budget deficit of P19.9 billion in May as the growth of expenses outpaced that of revenues, according to the Bureau of the Treasury.
This brought the deficit for the first five months of the year to P22.79 billion, which was just about a fifth of the P109.34 billion that the government intended to spend on top of the budget for the first semester.
The five-month deficit was, however, more than twice the P9.54 billion recorded in the same period of 2011.
January-May expenses reached P668.43 billion, which was three-fourths of the program for the first half but 13.1-percent higher year-on-year.
Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad on Tuesday said spending continued to speed up, particularly driven by maintenance and other operating expenses as well as a record-high capital outlay for the five-month period.
“Disbursements in May alone reached the highest (monthly) level and fastest year-on-year growth so far compared to the previous months of the current year,” Abad said.
Expenditures amounted to P151.3 billion in May, 16.7-percent higher than the P129.69 billion spent in the same month last year. Revenues reached P131.4 billion, an increase of 9.4 percent from P120.09 billion a year ago.
Five-month revenues reached P645.64 billion, which was 83 percent of the goal for the first semester but 11-percent higher than last year’s level.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said deficit figures in May showed that the government’s fiscal space remained wide enough to support growth.
“We are pleased with the continued rise in revenue collections, especially since this allows us to pursue our spending program for the year while making sure that our fiscal position remains under control,” Purisima said.
“The wide fiscal space will now give us an advantage to finance infrastructure projects and social programs that will, in the long-term, curb poverty and promote equality,” he said.
From January to May, the Bureau of Internal Revenue contributed revenues of P439.82 billion, which was 82 percent of the first-half target but 12.5-percent higher year on year.
The Bureau of Customs chipped in P120.13 billion, which was 72 percent of the first-half target but 12.4-percent better than last year’s collection. The Treasury turned in P46.89 billion, surpassing the first-half target by 147 percent but 3.2 percent less than the year-ago level.
Other government offices yielded P38.82 billion, which was 93 percent of the first-half goal and 10.6 percent better year on year.
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