Gov’t posts P6-B surplus; underspending continues | Inquirer Business
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Gov’t posts P6-B surplus; underspending continues

/ 03:01 AM January 08, 2016

The government posted a budget surplus that was seven-fold the programmed level last November, even as both the revenue and spending targets were missed that month.

Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury on Thursday showed that the budget balance swung to a surplus of P6 billion in November, 12-percent lower than the P6.8-billion surplus a year ago, but 632-percent higher than the programmed surplus of about P800 million that month. As of November, the government recorded a monthly surplus four times last year.

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November’s surplus—which meant that the government generated more revenues than the amount spent on public goods and services—trimmed the 11-month deficit to P46.5 billion. The end-November deficit was 74-percent higher than the P26.8 billion recorded in the same period last year, but 81-percent lower than the programmed P246.7-billion deficit for the first 11 months.

The below-target year-to-date deficit meant that actual public expenditures lagged behind the amount supposed to be spent to support economic growth.

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This was despite expenditures in November rising by 13 percent year-on-year to P171.4 billion, bringing 11-month disbursements up also by 13 percent to P1.99 trillion.

Government spending last November, however, was almost a fourth below the target, while the end-November figure was 15-percent lower than program.

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad nonetheless pointed out that public expenditures have been registering year-on-year double-digit growth for six straight months as of November.

As for revenues, the combined collections of the bureaus of Customs (BOC), Internal Revenue (BIR) and Treasury as well as other offices grew 12 percent year-on-year to P177.5 billion in November. The government’s tax take that month, however, was over a fourth below the P224.1-billion target.

The end-November revenues collected by the government likewise expanded by 12 percent to P1.94 trillion, but 7-percent lower than the P2.09-trillion goal for the first 11 months.

The BIR, the country’s biggest tax collection agency, saw its take in November rise by 12 percent year-on-year to P136.4 billion, bringing the 11-month total to P1.33 trillion, up 9 percent from a year ago. However, the BIR still missed its November target of P174.1 billion as well as the end-November goal of P1.54 billion.

The BOC, meanwhile, collected P29.1 billion in import duties and other taxes last November, up 18 percent year-on-year. The end-November take inched up by 2 percent to P329.8 billion. The BOC’s collections, however, were 27-percent below the P40-billion program in November as well as 17-percent lower than the P397.2-billion target for the first 11 months. Ben O. de Vera

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TAGS: Aquino administration, budget surplus, revenue targets, spending targets, underspending
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