The national government posted a budget surplus of P66.8 billion in April, or more than 13 times the P4.9 billion registered a year ago as the faster revenue collection outpaced the growth in expenditures, the Bureau of the Treasury said Monday.
Data showed the April surplus brought down the budget deficit in the first four months to P204.1 billion. This was 34.57 percent lower than the P311.9-billion shortfall in the same period last year.
Government revenue collections jumped 26.6 percent in April to P440.7 billion from P347.9 billion a year earlier, bringing the year-to-date collections to P1.3 trillion, or 11.22 percent higher than a year ago.
Taxes amounted to P1.1 trillion and made up 89.18 percent of total collections in the four-month period, while non-tax sources contributed 10.82 percent or P136.3 billion. Tax and non-tax revenues both posted year-on-year increases of 11.78 percent and 6.86 percent, respectively.
Collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue climbed 40.24 percent or P96.4 billion in April to P336.0 billion from the level posted in the same month last year.
“Growth for the period was attributed to the implementation of Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 5-2023 in line with Section 37 of the TRAIN Law, which requires the filing of quarterly VAT returns within twenty-five days following the close of each taxable quarter wherein the transaction was recorded,” the Treasury said.
BIR collections as of end-April reached P841.2 billion and outperformed the previous year’s outturn by 13.31 percent or P98.8 billion.
Collections by the Bureau of Customs rose 2.87 percent in April to P67.6 billion from P65.7 billion in the previous year. This brought the bureau’s four-month tally to P281.4 billion, 10.68 percent or P27.2 billion better than a year ago.
Income of the Bureau of the Treasury eased 28.89 percent or P7.4 billion to P18.3 billion from a year earlier. “The downturn for the month was mainly attributed to the base effect of early remittances of dividends from GOCCs last year. As of end-April, total BTr revenue amounted to P57.3 billion, also down by 23.03 percent or P17.1 billion owing to the same reason,” the Treasury said.
Non-tax collections from offices, including privatization proceeds and fees and charges, reached P18.8 billion, 24.16 percent or P3.7 billion higher than a year ago.
The positive outturn for the month led to a higher cumulative collection of P79.0 billion, surpassing the level recorded in the first four months by 48.76 percent or P25.9 billion.
Data showed that government disbursements in April increased 9 percent to P373.9 billion from P343.0 billion last year owing mainly to the subsidy release to PhilHealth, larger capital expenditures of the Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Transportation and higher interest payments during the month.
“The spending growth was tempered by the decline in transfers to local government units due to lower national tax allotment shares. Total expenditures for the four-month period reached P1.5 trillion, inching up by 1.33 percent or P19.2 billion on a year-to-date basis,” it said.
Primary expenditures, net of interest payments, accounted for 87.63 percent or P327.6 billion of total expenditures in April, up by 7.18 percent or P21.9 billion year-on-year. The cumulative primary expenditures of P1.3 trillion from January to April reflected a slight growth of 1.40 percent or P17.7 billion compared to last year.
April interest payments reached P46.3 billion, up 23.99 percent or P9.0 billion year-on-year. Total interest payments as of end-April were recorded at P188.2 billion, up by just 0.86 percent or P1.6 billion over last year.
“Netting out interest payments from expenditures, the primary surplus for April was P113.1 billion, much higher compared to the P42.2 billion posted a year ago. Meanwhile, the overall primary balance for the first four months remained at a deficit of P15.9 billion, albeit declining by 87.34 percent or P109.4 billion year-on-year,” the Treasury said.