THE government posted a budget deficit of P33.4 billion in May after recording a surplus a month ago as government spending outpaced revenue collections, data from the Bureau of the Treasury on Friday show.
The May deficit was P15.8 billion higher than the P17.7-billion gap a year ago. This brought the deficit in the first five months to P63.6 billion, 15 percent lower than P75.1 billion a year ago.
Revenue collections for the month increased 14 percent to P228.3 billion from P199.8 billion a year ago, bringing collections in the first five months to P996.5 billion, up 8 percent from the P925.4 billion a year ago.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue raised P158.7 billion in May, bringing the agency’s January-to-May collections to P716.8 billion, up 9 percent over last year’s level.
The Bureau of Customs bounced back strongly from the contraction it experienced in April, with collections coming in at P39.6 billion, up 23 percent or P7.5 billion year-on-year—the fastest growth attained for the first five months. Cumulative collections amounted to P174.9 billion, up 13 percent from the 2016 level.
“Bulk of revenue growth for the month of May can be attributed to non-tax revenues, particularly the Bureau of the Treasury’s income, which also rebounded from the previous month’s contraction to register at P18.0 billion, P12.2 billion more than the income posted for the same month last year, and partially offsetting the P20.8 billion YoY decline recorded last month, as remittance of dividends on share/stock holdings of the government from GOCCs started to come in,” the Treasury said.
The Treasury’s income suffered a year-on-year drop of 18 percent in the first five months of the year to total P48.0 billion, but still a significant improvement over the 43 percent decline recorded in Jan-April.
“The decline in Jan-May were mainly due to lower dividend collections by P9.1 billion and the decline in income generated from national government deposits and BSF/SSF investments by P1.1 billion and P3.2 billion, respectively, given the reduced asset holdings of BSF and cash holdings and deposits, even these were slightly offset by higher shares in Pagcor income which grew by P2.1 billion,” it said.