The government’s budget deficit narrowed 2 percent in March to P187.7 billion from the P191.4-billion shortfall a year ago, as revenue collections outpaced expenditures, the Bureau of the Treasury said Wednesday.
“The lower deficit was brought about by the 35.96-percent acceleration in revenue collection alongside an 18.14-percent increase in government spending. This led to a cumulative budget gap of P316.8 billion for the first quarter of the year, indicating a 1.44-percent or P4.6-billion contraction from the comparable period in 2021,” the Treasury said.
Revenue collection reached P293.9 billion in March, up by P77.7 billion from a year earlier. This brought total collection in the first quarter to P784.4 billion, higher by 12.62 percent or P87.9 billion than the previous year’s outcome of P696.5 billion. Tax revenues made up 89 percent or P697.2 billion of the total.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s collections recovered from February’s contraction to reach P170.4 billion in March, up by 27.76 percent or P37 billion from the comparable revenue performance last year. This drove BIR’s cumulative collections to P502.8 billion for the three-month period, reflecting a 7.05-percent or P33.1-billion improvement from a year ago.
The Bureau of Customs continued its strong growth, raising P70.8 billion in March, 29.33 percent or P16.1 billion higher than last year’s level. BOCs’ March performance led to a cumulative collection of P188.6 billion, representing an increase of 26.39 percent or P39.4 billion from P149.2 billion raised in the first quarter of 2021.
The Bureau of the Treasury’s income in March rose to P33.4 billion, or more than twice the level collected a year earlier.
“The increase for the month was propelled by higher dividend remittances, along with higher income from BSF investment, guarantee fees as well as national government share from PAGCOR income. This pushed BTr collection to P48.7 billion for the first quarter of the year, beating the previous year’s actual income of P39.3 billion by 23.90 percent or P9.4 billion,” it said. Julito G. Rada
Other offices booked P16.4 billion in total revenue in March, a year-on-year growth of 58.07 percent or P6.0 billion from a year ago. Cumulative collection for the first three months also improved 16 percent to P38.4 billion.
Meanwhile, the government disbursed P481.5 billion in March, up 18.14 percent or P73.9 billion year-on-year on higher national tax allocation releases and budgetary support to GOCCs.
“Higher year-on-year disbursements by the DepEd and the CHED mainly for their educational assistance/scholarship programs, and by the DPWH and the DND for their capital outlay projects also contributed to the said expansion,” it said.
Disbursements rose 8.18 percent in the first quarter to P1.101 trillion from the P1.017 trillion spent in the same period last year.