The government’s budget deficit narrowed 83.8 percent in April to P44.4 billion from a year ago, on the back of a 55.46-percent growth in revenues and 27.14-percent decrease in expenditures, the Bureau of the Treasury said Tuesday.
Data, however, showed the cumulative budget deficit as of end-April rose 1.63 percent to P365.9 billion from a gap of P360 billion in the same period last year.
April revenues reached P291.9 billion, up P104.1 billion from the same month last year when the first enhanced community quarantine was in effect.
The Treasury said the figure brought total collections in the four-month period to P988.4 billion, or 3.95 percent higher than the previous year, with tax revenues growing 20.45 percent and accounting for 91 percent of total collections.
It said the Bureau of Internal Revenue contributed the bulk of the growth for the month with actual collections of P219.0 billion, more than double last year’s P90.5 billion.
“The positive outturn for the period can be attributed to the timing of payment of income taxes. With its April performance, BIR’s cumulative revenue also improved to P688.7 billion, 23.14 percent better than the January-April 2020 comparable outturn,” it said.
Collections by the Bureau of Customs amounting to P51.8 billion topped last year’s revenue by 50.42 percent, driven by the continued improvement in importation volume.
The Bureau of Customs collected P201.0 billion from January to April, surpassing the P179.7 billion achieved in the first four months of 2020 by 11.81 percent or P21.2 billion.
Income raised by the Bureau of the Treasury declined by 84.50 percent in April to P9.0 billion, coming from the high base effect of last year’s remittances in compliance with Republic Act No. 11469 or Bayanihan I.
The decline in income from government services and dividends on shares of stocks held by the government was partially offset by the higher income from interest on advances from government-owned and –controlled corporations and government deposits.
Four-month collection by the BTr was also lower by 71.46 percent year-on-year because of the same factors and lower national government share from PAGCOR income and interest on advances.
Revenue from other offices (other non-tax collections including privatization proceeds and fees and charges) rose to P10.8 billion, exceeding last year’s collection by P6.3 billion. The growth was partly propelled by the remittance of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority of the disposition proceeds amounting to P2.7 billion and the eased restrictions on the operations of government collecting offices versus last year.
Meanwhile, government expenditures in April totaled P336.3 billion, down by 27.14 percent from a year ago, owing to the high base effect of releases for COVID-19 emergency response and measures under RA No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act in 2020.
These included the first tranches of the Social Amelioration Program and Small Business Wage Subsidy Program, and the Bayanihan grant to provinces, cities, and municipalities which were released in April last year.
The four-month expenditure of P1.354 trillion was still up by 3.31 percent from last year, with primary spending making up 89 percent of the total disbursement.