Aug. surplus trims 8-mo. budget gap
The budget surplus in August more than doubled year-on-year to P32.6 billion, as the double-digit increase in revenue collection exceeded public expenditure that month.
Last August’s surplus was 117 percent higher than the P15-billion surplus in the same month last year, the latest Bureau of the Treasury data showed. The figure was also the highest surplus figure posted for the month of August.
Revenue collection jumped 19 percent year-on-year to P209.6 billion, outpacing the 9-percent increase in expenditure to P177 billion.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the country’s biggest tax-collection agency, saw its tax take jump 14 percent year-on-year to P157.5 billion.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC), meanwhile, posted a faster 23-percent year-on-year increase in its collection of import duties and other taxes to P33.1 billion.
Non-tax revenue also climbed 87 percent year-on-year to P17.8 billion.
At the end of the first eight months, the government nonetheless posted a budget deficit of P138.4 billion. This was wider than the P3.4 billion deficit as of the end of August last year but narrower than the budget gap of P171 billion as of the end of July.
In a statement, the Department of Finance said the end-August deficit “leaves the government ample fiscal room to support growth for the remainder of the year.”
The government targets to ramp up spending on public goods and services, which would bring the budget deficit to P388.9 billion by the end of the year.
Treasury data showed that from January to August, public spending rose by 12 percent year-on-year to P1.62 trillion.
Revenue, on the other hand, grew by only 3 percent to P1.48 trillion during the first eight months.
The DOF noted that the Duterte administration was closely keeping track of the government’s spending levels, which accounted for about 10 percent of the gross domestic product. The previous administration had struggled to spend, resulting in underinvestment in infrastructure.
The DOF quoted Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III as saying that “the Duterte administration would be responsible with its finances” and would reverse the Aquino administration’s under-spending.
The BIR’s end-August collection rose by a 10 percent to P1.06 trillion, while that of the BOC increased by 8 percent to P254.6 billion.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.