Gov’t posts budget surplus of P2.5BBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government mustered a budget surplus of P2.5 billion in August as a rise in revenue managed to outpace that of spending.
According to the Bureau of Treasury, the surplus in August brought the deficit in the first eight months of the year down to P71.2 billion, which was just 39 percent of the P183.3 billion that the government intended to spend on top of the national budget for the first nine months.
However, the eight-month deficit was more than double the P34.5 billion that was recorded in the same period of 2011.
January-August expenses reached P1.08 trillion—81 percent of the program for the first three quarters. Still, it was 14.5 percent higher year on year.
Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad on Wednesday said that spending during the eight-month period continued to post a double-digit increase, even as savings were incurred due to lower-than-expected interest payments.
These “only prove the efforts of national government agencies to accelerate the rollout of key infrastructure projects to help boost the country’s viability as the next investment and tourism hub in the region,” Abad said. “Through reform mechanisms such as the account management teams in key departments, the Aquino administration has been pushing for faster-yet-quality spending on priority social programs and projects.”
Also, eight-month revenue reached P1.01 trillion, which was 87 percent of the goal for the period, but 11.1 percent higher than last year’s actual take.
In August alone, expenditures reached P126.9 billion—10.4 percent higher than the P114.9 billion spent in the same month last year.
Revenue reached P129.4 billion—an increase of 4.2 percent from P124.1 billion.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said August was the sixth month this year that the Bureau of Internal Revenue posted double-digit, year-on-year gains for monthly collections.
From January to August, the BIR contributed P701.4 billion to state coffers—88 percent of the nine-month target, but 13.2 percent higher year on year.
The Bureau of Customs chipped in P190.4 billion, which was 74 percent of the nine-month target, but 10.7 percent better than last year’s collection.
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