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Philippines
Monday, June 24, 2024

March budget deficit fell as revenues grew over 11%

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The national government’s budget deficit narrowed to P195.9 billion in March 2024 from P210.3 billion a year ago, as revenue grew 11.32 percent year-on-year, the Bureau of the Treasury said Wednesday.

The BTr said this improvement stemmed from strong revenue collection, compared to a modest 3.18-percent rise in spending.

Government revenue collection increased to P287.9 billion in March 2024, despite a 0.23 percent decline in tax revenues. The decrease was attributed to fewer working days due to holidays and a contraction in Bureau of Customs (BOC) collections.

Revenue in the first quarter reached P933.7 billion ($17.2 billion), or 14.05 percent higher than the first three months of 2023. Tax revenues and non-tax revenues amounted to P820.3 billion and P113.4 billion, respectively.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P145.3 billion in March, a 3.11-percent increase from 2023. The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) also saw a significant rise in income for March, driven by higher dividend remittances and interest on advances from government-owned corporations.

Collections from other offices, which include non-tax revenue such as privatization proceeds and fees, slowed down in March compared to the same period last year. This can be attributed to a one-time return of unutilized funds in 2023 and lower Malampaya proceeds.

National government expenditures rose 3.18 percent year-on-year in March. The lower subsidies to government corporations helped temper the growth in spending.

The Philippines registered a primary deficit of P125.0 billion in March, a decrease of 16.33 percent from last year. The year-to-date primary deficit also reflected a significant drop from a year earlier.

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