Budget gap dipped by half in NovemberBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government’s budget deficit in November reached P11.6 billion, dropping by almost half the level incurred in the same month last year.
This brought the January-November deficit to P127.3 billion—an increase of 32 percent year-on-year, the Bureau of the Treasury reported.
Still, the amount was only about 46 percent of the P279.1-billion deficit ceiling planned for this year, according to Treasury data.
“Due to respectable improvements in the Aquino administration’s spending and collection, the risk of … the deficit exceeding the program is nearly eliminated this year,” Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said in a statement.
As of November, state economic managers managed to sustain double-digit growth for both revenues and expenses, with the latter still outpacing the former.
In the 11 months to November, revenue reached P1.41 trillion, an increase of 13 percent year-on-year. It is 10 percent short of the P1.56 trillion target for the full year.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue contributed P969.3 billion, which was 9 percent short of the full-year target but 14 percent higher year-on-year.
The Bureau of Customs chipped in P264.3 billion, which was still 24 percent short of the year’s target but 9 percent better than last year’s collection.
The Treasury turned in P80 billion, already exceeding its 2012 target by 29.5 percent. Its contribution was also 11 percent better than a year ago.
Other government offices also yielded P94.9 billion, exceeding their full-year target by 11 percent.
Also, 11-month expenses reached P1.54 trillion, up 14 percent year-on-year. The amount is 16 percent short of the P1.84-trillion spending goal for 2012.
“The reforms [under] the Aquino Administration have certainly made a significant impact, not only in terms of accelerating the pace of disbursements but also by deepening transparency and accountability in public financial management,” Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said.
Abad said the government spent the most in November with P166.9 billion. It was 11 percent higher than the P150.7 billion disbursed in the same month last year.
Revenue in November reached P155.3 billion—an increase of 21 percent from P128.7 billion.
Now that President Aquino has signed into law Republic Act No. 10351, or the Sin Tax Reform Act of 2012, the measure is expected to bring in an average of P44 billion in additional tax revenue a year over the next five years, Purisima said.
“Along with other unprecedented reforms—such as the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Bill, the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement for Peace, successive PPP launches, record GDP growth, low inflation and low interest rates—this major health and tax reform victory should allay any lingering doubts about the ability of government to pass genuine and sustainable reform measures for the long-term,” the finance chief said.