“Deficit reached P115.9 billion or P51.2 billion less than program, but P85.7 billion more than the same period last year,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a text message.
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Budget deficit swells to P116 billion in 4 months
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The national government‘s fiscal deficit widened by almost four times to P115.9 billion in the first four months from the P30.2 billion recorded in the same period last year, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported yesterday.

The latest deficit figure, however, was 31 percent short of the P167.1 billion target for the period.

“Deficit reached P115.9 billion or P51.2 billion less than program, but P85.7 billion more than the same period last year,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a text message.

Despite a below-program deficit, Dominguez said the government is off to a good start in terms of its fiscal program.

“We’re having a good start in the first trimester, but (we) are ever vigilant of developments in the oil and capital markets abroad that may negatively affect the Philippine economy,” Dominguez said.

For April alone, the government generated a fiscal surplus of P46.3 billion, 12 percent lower than the P52.8 billion surplus recorded in the same month in 2017.

A deficit occurs when government’s expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates. On the other hand, a surplus is achieved when revenues outpace disbursements. The government historically gains surplus during April as income tax filing falls within this month.

Based on data provided by the finance department, computations show government revenues from January to April grew by 21 percent to P927.1 billion from P768.3 billion last year.

Dominguez said this was seven percent higher than the P905.7 billion revenue program for the four-month period.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), for its part, collected P655.7 billion during the period, 17.5 percent higher than last year’s P558.1 billion. It was likewise higher than the bureau’s P636.6 billion target for the period.

Revenues generated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) also rose by 31 percent to P176.6 billion and went slightly above target.

Meanwhile, disbursements as of end-April amounted to P1.043 trillion, 31 percent higher than the previous year’s P798.4 billion.

This was, however, about 2.8 percent lower than the P1.073 trillion expenditures programmed for the period.

Earlier, economic managers attributed the increase in revenue to the implementation of the Tax Reform For Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law. The administration’s massive infrastructure program also contributed to the higher spending during the period, they said.

For 2018, government disbursements are targeted to reach P3.313 trillion-while revenues are programmed to increase to P2.789 trillion, resulting in a fiscal deficit of P523.7 billion, equivalent to three percent of gross domestic product.

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE FISCAL DEFICIT
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