MANILA, Philippines – The national government incurred a surplus of P29.9 billion ($671.26 million)* in August as the year-on-year revenue growth outpaced that of spending, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported on Thursday, September 25.
The surplus in August was 36% higher than the P22-billion ($492.21 million) surplus registered in the same period in 2013.
Expenditures grew by a mere 5% to P140.12 billion ($3.13 billion) from the P133.24 billion ($2.98 billion) recorded in August last year.
Expenditures grew by 6% to P1.3 trillion ($290.06 billion) in the first 8 months of the year.
Netting out interest payments, government spending only grew by 4% year-on-year.
The Department of Budget and Management has yet to release its statement on the spending performance for August.
Effects of port congestion
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that the government has been determined in mapping out a solution to the port congestion in Manila to further augment the growth of the Philippine economy.
Purisima quoted the finance department’s chief economist Gil Beltran as saying that if port congestion is solved and delayed shipment are out of the ports within this year, the annual tax collection can increase by as much as 7% or 0.2 percentage points of the gross domestic product.
Government revenues in January to August jumped by 12% to P1.27 trillion ($284.49 billion) compared to the same period last year.
Revenues in August posted a double-digit growth of 10% to P169.98 billion ($3.8 billion).
The collections generated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs during the said month grew by 8% and 11%, respectively.
Customs collections totaled P29.1 billion ($649.87 million) for the month, growing 11.4% from last year’s tally and marking the 8th straight month of above 10% year-on-year growth.
Year-to-date, the BOC’s take amounted to P232.9 billion ($5.20 billion), rising 17.1% from January-August collections in 2013.
Meanwhile, BIR collections increased by 8% to reach P127.6 billion ($2.85 billion) in August. This brought year-to-date BIR collections to P890.7 billion ($19.89 billion), up 9.7% year-on-year.
The Bureau of Treasury also exceeded its target for the month, raking in P5-billion ($111.63 million) due to higher investment income and dividend collections. As of end-August, the Treasury’s collections have totaled P75.7 billion ($1.69 billion), a growth of 24.3% over comparable figures last year.
The August performance brings the year-to-date deficit to P25.87 billion ($578.29 million), which is only about 10% of the P266.2 billion ($5.95 billion) deficit cap for 2014. – Rappler.com
($1 = P44.78)