Gov't reduces deficit to P9.7B in Feb

MANILA, Philippines – The government incurred a budget deficit of P9.7 billion in February, bringing the total deficit for the first 2 months of the year to P43.9 billion.

The February figure was down 17% from what was recorded a year ago, the Department of Finance said in a statement on Monday, April 14.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the deficit narrowed as government revenues grew faster than expenditures.

Revenue collections in February reached P120.3 billion, up 7% year on year. Tax collections accounted for P106.7 billion or 89% of the amount. For the first 2 months, revenues also rose 7% to P250.7 billion.

Both the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs posted positive growths in collections.

BIR collections stood at P78.4 billion in February, up 5%, while Customs' were at P27.4 billion, a 22% jump.

Purisima said Customs recorded "its 2nd monthly growth above 20% and its 4th straight double-digit growth since the President's Customs Reform Program normalized in November."

With the blessing of President Benigno Aquino III, Customs implemented a number of reforms such as a bureau-wide reshuffling, among others. Customs was mostly in transition last year as new top-level officials were appointedworkers were ordered to return to their mother units and some collectors were transferred to the Department of Finance.

Expenditures

Government disbursements totaled P130 billion in February, a 5% increase from the 2013 figure.

Combined expenditures for the first 2 months amounted to P313 billion, an 11% increase from the same period a year ago as the government implements rehabilitation works in Typhoon Yolanda-ravaged areas. – Rappler.com