May budget gap narrows as revenues increase

As revenue collections improved in May compared to year-ago levels, the national government’s budget deficit slightly narrowed to P200.3 billion.

The Bureau of the Treasury’s latest cash operations report (COR) showed that the May fiscal deficit was 0.9 percent smaller than the P202.1 billion posted in the same month last year.

The government spent P456.7 billion on public goods and services last month, exceeding the P256.4-billion tax and nontax revenues.

Last month’s revenues jumped 69.3 percent from P151.5 billion a year ago, mainly due to the 60.9-percent year-on-year increase in tax collections to P234.4 billion, the Treasury said.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) tax take last month climbed 60.5 percent year-on-year to a net of P183.7 billion, although actual collections fell below the P203.2-billion target.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC), meanwhile, generated P48.6 billion in import duties and other taxes, up 58.1 percent year-on-year, on the back of “improving” valuation, the Treasury said.

Meanwhile, expenditures in May grew 29.2 percent from P353.6 billion last year, of which P427.8 billion was considered productive spending net of interest payments, which also rose by 27.6 percent year-on-year.

The Treasury attributed the higher spending to disbursements for the capital outlay projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways; banner education and health programs of the Department of Education and the Department of Health. Releases to Philippine Health Insurance Corp. for the health insurance premiums of senior citizens, and to local government for the barangay development program of the national task force to end local communist armed conflict added to the rise in spending.

From January to May, the cumulative budget gap hit P566.2 billion, wider by 0.7 percent than the P562.2 billion a year ago.

End-May government spending reached P1.81 trillion, up 8.8 percent from P1.66 trillion last year. First five-month revenue was up 12.9 percent to P1.24 trillion from P1.1 trillion last year.

The BIR’s take as of May grew 29.5 percent year-on-year to P872.4 billion, while the BOC’s collections increased 18.6 percent to P249.6 billion. INQ

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