Budget rolls into P15-B surplus in August, trims 8-month deficit to just P3.4 B
(The Philippine Star) - October 1, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration’s budget balance rolled back into surplus in August even as expenditures continued to rise following dismal performance in early months.

The government posted a surplus of P15 billion in August, the Bureau of Treasury reported yesterday. A surplus indicates more revenues were earned than spent.

Broken down, revenues amounted to P176.7 billion, while disbursements totaled P161.6 billion. Both indicators recorded growth rates of four percent and 15 percent, respectively.

From January to August, the budget deficit was further trimmed to P3.4 billion, way below the P197.2-billion program for the first eight months. The government has capped deficit at P283.7 billion this year.

“Sound fiscal management burnishes our credentials as one of Asia’s safest and strongest, a boon for our investment and growth prospects,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.

“We refuse to turn back the clock on our reforms,” he said.

August marked the third time this year that monthly revenues fell in excess of what was disbursed, following similar results in April and May.

This was after state disbursements lagged behind – and sometimes, even contracted – behind program during the early months. It seemed to have turned a corner in July, when it posted its fastest expansion in 13 months.

This was reinforced by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad last Monday, saying double-digit growth in disbursements would likely continue throughout the rest of the year. Spending rose 25 percent in July.

Emilio Neri, Jr., lead economist at the Bank of the Philippine Islands, however have mixed reactions on the latest budget numbers.

“We would have wanted to see a much stronger print for government outlays for August, to help compensate for the El Nino’s drag on over-all output,” Neri said in a note e-mailed to reporters.

“While lower than what we wished for, (expenditures) will still contribute positively to growth in the Philippines in the third quarter,” he added.

Revenues in August came mostly from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which collected P138.5 billion, up nine percent year-on-year.

The Bureau of Customs, meanwhile, took in P26.9 billion in August, down seven percent. BIR and Customs missed their monthly targets by 14 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

From January to August, BIR raked in P962.6 billion, while the BOC collected P235.6 billion. Both bureaus account for more than 80 percent of state revenues.

 

ACIRC APRIL AND MAY BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS BILLION BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD BUREAU OF CUSTOMS BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE BUREAU OF TREASURY EL NINO FROM JANUARY PERCENT
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