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Strong tax collections led to P88-billion January surplus

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The Philippine government posted a P88-billion budget surplus in January 2024, driven by strong tax collections, the Bureau of the Treasury said Friday.

The surplus was significantly larger than the P45.7 billion recorded in January 2023.

“Faster year-over-year growth in revenue collection [21.15 percent] outpaced the expansion in government spending [10.39 percent],” the Treasury said in a statement.

Total revenue climbed to P421.8 billion in January, up from P348.2 billion a year ago. Higher tax collections, which comprised 91.31 percent or P385.2 billion of the total, drove the increase.

Non-tax revenue amounted to P36.6 billion, down 8.7 percent from the previous year.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) raised P308.4 billion, a 31.35-percent increase from P234.8 billion collected in January 2023.

“The improvement was largely due to the shift in value-added tax [VAT] remittance from monthly to quarterly, pushing the crediting of fourth-quarter 2023 collections to January 2024,” the Treasury said.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collections reached P73.4 billion, exceeding the previous year’s figure by P2.8 billion (3.98 percent).

“The increase can be attributed to the agency’s improved system for determining the customs value of imported goods, strengthened border protection, and efforts to facilitate trade,” the Treasury said.

The Bureau of the Treasury’s (BTr) income declined from P17.8 billion to P16.7 billion in January 2024 due to lower interest earned on government deposits and investments. This was partially offset by a higher government share from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) income.

Collections from other offices (including privatization proceeds and fees) fell 11 percent to P19.9 billion.

National government disbursements reached P333.9 billion in January, up from P302.4 billion a year ago. Primary expenditures, which accounted for 77.77 percent of total spending, rose slightly to P259.6 billion from P255.4 billion.

Debt interest payments (IP) jumped 58 percent to P74.2 billion, representing 22.23 percent of total spending. This increase was due to premiums from the previous year’s reissuance of Treasury bonds and global bonds issued in the same period.

Excluding interest payments, the national government recorded a P162.2-billion primary surplus in January, a 74.91-percent year-on-year increase.


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