MANILA, Philippines – As government makes good of its promise to spend more and stimulate economic growth, the national budget incurred a deficit in January, reversing the surplus in the same month in 2011.
On Wednesday, March 21, the Finance Department reported that deficit reached P15.9 billion in January since:
- P126.4 billion – Revenue collections
- P142.3 billion – Spending
Revenue collections fell below the P135.911 billion recorded in January 2011.
The P126.4 billion revenues in January 2012 were raised from the following:
- P85.1 billion – Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
- P22 billion – Bureau of Customs
- P11.1 billion – Bureau of the Treasury
- P8.2 billion – Collections from other offices
Spending, on the other hand, was 16% higher as the government has been making up for low state spending last year.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the latest fiscal position reflects the government’s efforts to boost spending.
“The national government’s fiscal performance for the first month of the year was marked by continued disbursement acceleration, primarily intended to boost economic growth,” Purisima said.
The government has set a budget deficit ceiling of P286 billion this year.
Last year, the government incurred a deficit of P197.8 billion, below the P300 billion deficit ceiling set for 2011.
The government has been trying to spend more to pump-prime the economy following the slower-than-expected growth recorded last year.
The economy, as measured by gross domestic product, grew by only 3.7% in 2011, significantly slower than the 7.6% GDP growth recorded in 2010. – Rappler.com