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Monday, March 4, 2024

Govt posts P55-b budget surplus

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The government posted a budget surplus of P55 billion in April this year, after the growth of revenue collections outpaced that of expenditures, data from the Finance Department show Wednesday.

Latest cash operations report released by the Budget Department on Wednesday showed the April surplus was 5 percent higher than P52.6 billion posted in the same month a year ago. 

The government registered the surplus for the first time this year after five months of consecutive budget deficits since a P6-billion surplus in November last year. 

The April surplus brought the government’s fiscal position to a deficit of P57.5 billion in the first four months, a reversal of the P19.1-billion surplus year-on-year.

The government said it posted a primary balance surplus of P69.8 billion in April after netting out interest payments.

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Revenues in April climbed 18 percent year-on-year to P246.6 billion bringing year-to-date collections to P725.6 billion. 

Collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue rose 10 percent in April, bringing the total take in the first four months to P507.8 billion, up 9 percent or P40 billion from a year ago.

Collections of the Bureau of Customs in April rose 16 percent or P4.6 billion year-on-year after contracting in February and March, with the four-month take up 2 percent on year.

The income of the Bureau of the Treasury bounced back from a contraction in March and was up 142 percent or P16.4 billion from a year ago.

“This is mainly due to the P23 billion remittance of dividends on shares of stocks held by the government,” the BTr said. 

Year-to-date collection of the BTr amounted to P52.9 billion, up 7 percent from a year ago.

“I am pleased to report a strong finish on both the revenue and expenditure sides of the Republic’s balance sheet. Consistently solid fiscal performance has put the nation on its firmest fiscal footing in history,” Finance secretary Cesar Purisima said. 

“The aggressive expansion of fiscal space in a span of six years has also funded the most intensive amount of investment the country has seen—fuel for Asia’s bright star to keep burning bright in these challenging times. I am highly confident that the next administration’s economic team has what it takes to improve and build on our gains moving forward,” Purisima added. 

Meanwhile, government spending in April increased 22 percent year-on-year to P191.6 billion from the P156.5 billion recorded in the same month last year.

Total expenditures in the first four months increased 19 percent to P783.1 billion from a year ago. 

Interest paymentsin April declined 6 percent to P14.8 billion. Interest payments in the four-month period reached P117.4 billion.

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