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Gov’t incurred P164.7-b budget deficit in February

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The government’s budget deficit widened to P164.7 billion in February 2024 from P106.4 billion in the same month last year, the Bureau of the Treasury said Monday.

It said the wider budget gap in February stemmed from the 22.14-percent year-over-year increase in expenditures, matched with moderate revenue growth of 5.73 percent.

This also brought the two-month fiscal deficit to P76.7 billion, or 26.56 percent higher than last year’s P60.6 billion.

Revenue collections in February reached P224 billion, surpassing last year’s figure by 5.73 percent or P12.1 billion.

The two-month collection amounted to P645.8 billion, outperforming the P560 billion recorded in the same period last year by 15.32 percent.

Broken down, 92.36 percent was raised through taxes, while the remaining 7.64 percent came from non-tax sources.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) raised P138 billion in February, exceeding the previous year’s level by 6.65 percent. This pushed the BIR’s cumulative collection to P446.4 billion, underlying double-digit year-on-year growth of 22.58 percent equivalent to P82.2 billion.

Collections by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) improved 12.19 percent to P70.6 billion in February from last year’s P62.9 billion. This led the agency’s aggregate collection in the first two months to P144. billion, surpassing the level posted in the same period last year by 7.84 percent.

The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) contributed P6.5 billion in revenues in February, slightly higher by 1.56 percent year-on-year, largely due to higher dividend remittances and national government’s share from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s income.

Meanwhile, the resulting P23.2-billion BTr income from January to February was lower by 3.80 percent from P24.2 billion last year, on account of lower interest income on NG deposits and BTr investments.

Total expenditures in February reached P388.7 billion, outperforming the previous year’s actual spending by 22.14 percent, driven by higher releases to local government units and larger disbursements recorded in the Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development for their banner health and social protection programs.

The higher capital expenditures posted by the Department of Public Works and Highways contributed to the growth of February 2024 disbursements.

This boosted the two-month expenditures to P722.5 billion, up by 16.42 percent from the January to February 2023 figure.

Primary expenditures (net of interest payments) amounted to P340.9 billion, up by 19.97 percent, while interest payments (IP) amounted to P47.8 billion, higher by 40.22 percent than that in the previous year.


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